Steven Koecher was born on the 1st of November, 1979, in Amarillo, Texas. After graduating from Amarillo High School in 1998, Steven attended the University of Utah and received a degree in communications.
After finishing college, Steven interned for the governor of Utah for nine months. After that, he worked for the Davis County Clipper as a freelance journalist. He worked here for a year and a half and even received some awards from the Utah Press Association for some of the articles he worked on.
In 2007, Steven then started to work for the Salt Lake Tribune’s digital advertising division. According to Steven’s mother, Steven enjoyed the work he did here, but he didn’t enjoy working the overnight shift due to the cold temperatures.
Because of the cold temperatures, Steven decided to leave his job at the Salt Lake Tribune and moved to St.George, which was in the warmer area of the state.
In St.George, Steven initially worked with the internet advertising firm Matchbin, but his job with them ended shortly after he relocated to St.George. Steven then struggled to get another job, due to the great recession. Steven was handing out flyers for a local window-washing company, but unfortunately, this wasn’t bringing in enough money.
By November 2009, Steven was several months behind on rent, and the local electric utility was threatening to stop supplying Steven with electricity due to non – payment. Steven was trying really hard to find another job.
On the 10th of December, 2009, Steven left St.George in the early morning. Steven then drove his Chevrolet Cavalier 300 miles (480 km) on Interstate 15 to Salt Lake City, where he brought some gas using a debit card. Steven then travelled west on Interstate 80, and another 125 miles (201 km) to West Wendover, Nevada, where he refilled again. After that, he continued another 100 miles (160 km) to the Ruby Valley ranch of the Neff family.
In the past, Steven had dated Annemarie Neff. When he stopped at the ranch that night, Steven told Annemarie’s parents that he thought he would stop by to see Annemarie. Annemarie was not at home that day, and despite her parents not expecting Steven to come around, they served him lunch anyway.
Steven told the Neff’s that he was on his way to visit family in Sacramento, California, but he wasn’t sure if he would continue on the journey because of the bad weather. After staying for 2 hours, Steven left the Neff’s home.
After leaving, Steven decided to return to St. George the way he had come, stopping to buy gas in Salt Lake City and Springville, and he even stopped to have dinner at a Taco Time in Nephi. By the time Steven reached home, he had driven nearly 1,100 miles (1,800 km).
During the day, Steven had talked to his mother on the phone. She said that he seemed upbeat about Christmas coming up and his job prospects. Steven did not mention the trip he had taken that day.
The next day, Steven returned to his job handing out flyers for a local window washing company. Whilst working, Steven came across 2 young girls who had been locked out of their families apartment. Learning of their struggle, Steven tried to call their mother but had no luck getting through. Steven then tried to find somewhere for the girls to stay until someone arrived to let them in.
The same day, Steven spoke to his ward’s Bishop, who said that he seemed positive.
On December 12th, 2009, Steven travelled again. That morning, his mobile phone pinged at a cell tower near Overton, Nevada.
That evening, he brought some gas and snacks at a convenience store in Mesquite, Nevada, which was along the I-15. Three hours after stopping at the convenience store, Steven brought a baby’s bib and cookies, which are believed to be Christmas presents for his brother and his family. He brought the baby’s bib and cookies from a K-Mart outside of St. George.
No one knows why Steven travelled to Nevada that day.
A neighbour remembers that he saw Steven return to his apartment at around 10pm that evening, but just half an hour later, Steven left again. Although no one saw Steven again that night, it is possible that he could have returned home.
On the morning of the 13th December 2009, Greg Webb, the president of the single’s ward Steven was a part of, calls Steven and says that he is on his way back from Las Vegas and that he might not be back in time for the 11am service. Greg asked Steven if he would be able to lead the service in case he couldn’t make it back in time. Steven told him that he is also in Las Vegas, but that he would return home if needed. Greg told him not to worry and that he would try to get back in time.
Another member of Steven’s ward called him that morning asking for a favour, which they dropped when they realised he was in Las Vegas. Steven never told Greg, or the other member, why he was in Las Vegas or what he was doing there.
At 11:54am, a home security camera on Savannah Springs Avenue in Sun City, which is a retirement community in the Anthem development in southern Henderson recorded Steven’s car driving into the cul-de-sac, where it was later found.
Six minutes later, at 12:00pm, the security camera caught a figure, who is believed to be Steven, wearing a white shirt and slacks, walking in the other direction down the sidewalk. He was carrying something in his hand, something that appeared to be a portfolio or file folder.
Shortly after this, another security camera on a garage in the Evening Lights Street caught Steven as he continued to walk north. This was the last time Steven was seen.
Below is the security camera video that shows Steven walking north.
Steven’s phone remained active throughout that day.
At around 5pm, Steven’s mobile phone pinged at a cell phone tower at the intersection of Arroyo Grande Boulevard and the American Pacific Drive, which was more than 10 miles (1.6 km) northeast of where Steven had parked his car.
Two hours later, at around 7pm, Steven’s mobile phone pinged again near Henderson’s Whitney Ranch subdivision, which is 2 miles (3.2 km) north of the previous ping.
Early the next morning, Steven’s phone pinged again at a tower at the interchange between Interstate 515/ US Route 93 and Russell Road, which is two more miles to the north from the previous ping.
Steven’s landlord sent him a text, and then an hour later Steven’s phone was used to check his voicemail.
The phone remained in the last tower’s vicinity for the next two days, which suggests that the phone’s battery died. There has been no activity on the phone since.
A day after the last mobile phone ping, Sun City’s homeowner’s association parking enforcement took note of Steven’s car. Through the window of the car, the parking enforcement saw the flyers that Steven handed out for the local window washing company in St.George.
The parking enforcement called the company, who gave them Steven’s number. The parking enforcement left a voicemail on Steven’s phone.
Eventually, parking enforcement called Steven’s mother. She returned their call on the 17th of December, and after realising that no one in the family had talked to him in over a week, she reported Steven missing.
A huge police search was launched for him, and Steven’s family were checking hospitals, jails and morgues for Steven.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police canvasses the houses in the neighbourhood where Steven had parked his car, and with the help of volunteers, they were able to search using helicopters, sniffer dogs, and all-terrain vehicles.
In April 2010, an extensive search of the open desert south of the Henderson Executive Airport, which was to the west of where Steven had parked his car. They searched this area in response to a tip, however, nothing of interest was ever found.
Steven’s family believe that he had gone to Henderson for a job opportunity, but beyond that, there is no explanation or evidence as to what happened to Steven after that.
As of 2021, Steven is still missing, and there has not been any signs or sightings of Steven, and to this day he remains a missing person.
“We’ve considered every possibility. But each possibility has a contradiction. Is it plausible that someone is walking down the street and then suddenly they’ve vanished? All clues are consistent with that, but that’s not possible.” – Rolf Koecher, Steven’s father.
Missing, Unsolved, USA, Missing Person, Las Vegas, Nevada, True Crime, Mystery