Steven Koecher: What Happened to Him? Is He Dead or Alive?

When Steven Koecher’s abandoned car was found just outside of Las Vegas in a suburban neighborhood with no sign of him anywhere, his family and investigators left no stone unturned while searching for the Texas native. ID’s ‘Disappeared: Secrets of a Son’ gives us a detailed account of the entire case, including how Steven ended up in the neighborhood and the years-long investigation that followed. Interviews with his loved ones who talk about his early life and the case, and the experts who were involved in the search, also helps us get all the intricate details.

Steven Koecher Was Looking For a Job When He Vanished

Steven Koecher was brought into the world by Rolf and Deanne Koecher on November 1, 1979, in Amarillo, Texas. Having grown up with three siblings, including brother Dallin, he graduated from Amarillo High School in 1998 before getting admission to Ricks College (now Brigham Young University–Idaho). He subsequently even earned a degree in communications from the University of Utah before kickstarting his career. Apart from being active in the Boy Scouts of America and making Eagle Scout later, he was also a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He learned Portuguese too, thanks to his time in Brazil where he performed some missionary work.

Image Credit: Help Us Find Steven Koecher/Facebook

When his college graduation was done and dusted, Steven took an internship in the office of the governor of Utah for nine months. After gaining first-hand experience of more than a year, he got employed as a stringer at the Davis County Clipper. Finally, in 2007, he found a job at the Salt Lake Tribune in the digital advertising division. Although he liked the work he was doing, he did not particularly like his overnight shift, as per his mother’s claims. Since the winter in this local area also bothered him, he made the hard decision to quit the Tribune a year after joining. He then relocated to the much warmer St. George, Utah. Unfortunately, the Great Recession was also underway during the same time, which made it difficult for him to find a new job and get back on his feet.

Steven did manage to land a position at a local window-washing firm thinking it would help him make ends meet, but the salary he received was nowhere near enough to meet his lifestyle or recent expenses. By November 2009, the situation had gotten so bad that his rent was pending for multiple months. Thus, at the time of his disappearance, he had desperately been looking for a better job. In the early morning hours of December 10, 2009, he left St. George and set off on a road trip in his Chevrolet Cavalier, and stopped by Salt Lake City, West Wendover in Nevada, and Ruby Valley ranch, where he hoped to meet his former girlfriend Annemarie Neff. When he did not find her at her house, he returned to St. George, after stopping in Salt Lake City, Springville, and Nephi. While he was cruising across different cities, he also talked to his mother on the phone, reportedly in good spirits.

The day after, on December 12, Steven decided to embark on another road trip, this time to an area just outside Las Vegas, Nevada. On his way, he reportedly stopped at a convenience store in Mesquite to buy gas and some snacks, before purchasing a baby’s bib and cookies for his brother and his family at a Kmart too. As per reports, he then roamed around the Las Vegas Valley for various hours before ultimately parking his car on Savannah Springs Avenue in the city of Henderson, right before noon on December 13. He even talked to one of the residents in the neighborhood, telling him about his dire need for money as he was three months behind his rent. The 30-year-old then purportedly walked towards his vehicle, retrieved something, and headed away, leaving behind all of his possessions, including his cell phone, keys, and wallet.

When Steven’s absence was noticed by his loved ones, they reported him missing on December 17. Although the reason for his trip to the Las Vegas area was undetermined, his family believed he might have been searching for work in the area. As the investigation progressed, the police found Steven’s car abandoned right where he left it. Upon inspecting it, they found the gifts he had bought for his family, a pillow, a blanket, and frozen food, all of which indicated that Steven intended to return to his car.

Police Suspect Steven Koecher is Dead But His Family is Still Holding Onto Hope

The investigators were quick to scour through the houses in the neighborhood where Steven’s abandoned car was found. They also employed many helicopters, search dogs, and a psychic, but to no avail, as there was no trace of him anywhere in the area. Authorities were not able to find any evidence either since his car was locked and there was no sign of a struggle or forced entry. Even his bank accounts had not been accessed since the day he vanished. Though they did get surveillance footage,  which served as proof that he was in the neighborhood for about 20 minutes or so before he went out of the camera’s frame.

Image Credit: Help Us Find Steven Koecher/Facebook

Over the next few years, the police received multiple tips from anonymous sources but none of them yielded any results. In February 2011, Steven’s father Rolf passed away after a brief illness. In order to expand the search for Steven Koecher, one of his cousins set up a Facebook page called Help Us Find Steven Koecher. Then, six years after his disappearance, another search for the missing Steven was organized by a local search and rescue group. They looked for him south of Anthem high up the hills, based on a theory of what Steven might have done at the time of disappearance. Unfortunately, there was still no sign of him.

A suspect in his wife Susan Powell’s disappearance named Joshua Powell also theorized that Susan, who went missing just a week prior before Steven, was romantically involved with Steven, and the two had run off together to be together. This was also supported by Joshua’s father and brother. While investigators believe that Steven has met his demise and is now maybe buried somewhere deep in the Las Vegas Valley, his family is still hopeful for his safe return. His brother Dallin once even told News 3 LV, “We’re stuck between hope and grief because you want to hope for the best, but we can’t grieve because we don’t know what’s happened.”

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