On the evening of September 23, 2009, Brian Wehrle ate dinner with his sister. After the meal, the 39-year-old went back to Carrollton, Georgia, to stay with his parents for the week. Around 9:30 pm, he called his partner, Jeff Rolsten, who was at their home in Atlanta, Georgia. He seemed to be in a good mood, and there were no signs that something was wrong.
Brian often stayed up late because he had trouble sleeping. Around 2:00 am, a neighbor saw him in the carport of his parents’ house. This neighbor saw that Brian’s car was gone when he left for work on Thursday at 8 a.m. It was Brian’s turn to go to the Carrollton County Probate Court at 9:00 am, but he didn’t show up. He never came back home, and no one ever saw him again.
Brian disappeared along with his light-blue 1992 Buick Le Sabre. He left all of his things at his parents’ house, including his overnight bag and cell phone. Brain hadn’t gone missing before, and his family and friends didn’t think he would have left his life on his own. From the start, they thought he had been killed by someone else.
The two men lived together in Atlanta and had been together for 13 years. He told them that Brian had driven to Carrollton because he had a meeting on Thursday morning. It doesn’t make sense that he would have missed that appointment since he came all the way to Carrollton just for it.
By Friday, no one had been able to reach Brian, so they called the Carrollton Police in to report him missing. Jeff said Brain had a pacemaker and took medicine for rheumatoid arthritis and a heart condition. He forgot to bring his medicine with him when he went missing because he left it in his overnight bag at his parents’ house.
Jeff says that the police at first didn’t take the case seriously. “There wasn’t a real missing person report because they thought he went somewhere by himself and purposely left his cell phone behind.” On Saturday, Brian’s family went to the police station and told investigators that he wasn’t the kind of person who would just disappear. At this point, the police agreed to file a missing person report.
Brian used to be a land surveyor, and people called him a “spatial thinker.” He didn’t have any kids of his own, but he had nine brothers and sisters and loved his nieces and nephews very much. He owned a farm about two hours outside of Atlanta and had a cat and two dachshunds. He seemed to love life and was always in a good mood.
When the police first arrived, they thought Brian had left on his own and would return when he was ready. They wondered if Jeff and Brian had a fight that made Brian want to be alone. But people in the family were sure this wasn’t true. Jeff said, “I don’t think he’s taking’me time.'” He must have had something happen to him.
Jeannette Teague was Brian’s sister and lived in Jacksonville, Florida. She told the police that Brian and Jeff were going to come see her on September 26, 2009. “We talked about the trip and his Carrollton appointment two weeks ago.” He looked excited to come down, and we had even planned for our sister to join us.
Because of the flooding in the area, Brian’s drive from Atlanta to Carrollton, which usually only takes an hour, had taken more than four hours. This made Brian angry. He told Jeff that he needed to find a different way to get home. “He was going to get a topographical map to find out where the area’s high points and low points are. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he checked to see if any roads led to where he needed to go.”
When Carrollton Police Department investigators went to hospitals, morgues, and jails in the area, they couldn’t find him. A week after Brian was last seen, police searched the county from above with a helicopter in the hopes of finding the missing Le Sabre, but there was no sign of it.
Fear for Brian’s safety grew over the next few weeks. Police Capt. Chris Dobbs of Carrollton said that the case was unusual. “When someone goes missing, we usually hear something in a day or two.” He explained that detectives had looked into every possible lead, but they still couldn’t figure out what happened to Brian. “This case won’t be over until we find him.” It’s still going on, and the investigation is still going on.
Brian’s lost car was found in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on December 2, 2009. The car had been left behind when it was found, and Brian’s Georgia license plate had been switched out for a Tennessee plate that had been stolen on October 14, 2009. There were some of Brian’s things found in the car, like the book he was reading, but no clues as to what had happened to the man who went missing.
Detectives went around the neighborhood where the car was found and talked to a lot of people who lived there. They found out that the car had been left there around Halloween, at least a month before it was found. Someone who saw what happened said they saw a thin black man in a black shirt park the car and leave it there. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation looked through the car for possible evidence. They found some partial fingerprints, but no database had a match for them.
Jeff said it felt good to find Brian’s car. I was afraid he had an accident, driven off the road, or hit some floodwater and was stuck in the car at the bottom of a gorge, unable to get out. That was what broke my heart.
After Brian’s car was found, Jeff, his sister, and his brother-in-law went to Chattanooga and put up flyers looking for him all over the city. Both Brian and Jeff didn’t know anyone in Chattanooga, and they didn’t think Brian had driven the car there himself. But they were determined to find Brian because they thought he was still alive somewhere.
Jeff said in February 2010 that he had to know what had happened to Brian right away. He said that Brian’s bank accounts and credit cards hadn’t been used since he disappeared, and when his car was found in Tennessee, investigators agreed that it looked like foul play had probably happened. Jeff really thought Brian was still alive, even if it meant Brian had left his life. Let him know that we’re thinking about him if he’s out there and chose to go on his own. We love and miss him.
Jeff told a reporter that he thought detectives should have been more aggressive in questioning the person who lived in the house closest to where Brian’s car was found abandoned, but he didn’t say why he thought this person was guilty.
The family of Brian announced in June 2010 that there would be a $10,000 reward for information leading to Brian’s location or the person who took him. They hoped this would lead to new information that would help pick up the investigation again, which had stopped soon after Brian’s car was found.
Detectives were never able to figure out what happened to Brian, which was sad. His family and friends did everything they could to get the word out about his disappearance, but most news outlets didn’t want to cover the story. The search for Brian had stopped a year after he was last seen. That’s how it would stay for years.
Police in Carrollton, Texas, used cadaver dogs to search the area around Brian’s parents’ house in 2015. Three different dogs went off at the same time near a nearby boathouse. Police dug around the area where the dogs went off but couldn’t find anything.
It was May 2023 when the Carrollton Police Department decided to look into the case again. They asked for help from the public in figuring out what had happened to Brian before. Investigators thought Brian had been killed, but they didn’t know who did it or where Brian’s body could be.
Samantha Rickles, Brian’s niece, told the press that her uncle was one of her best friends and that she talked to him several times a day. When he went missing, she was heartbroken, and she hoped that the police would make progress on the case. “If they’re really stuck, I want them to go back and talk to everyone again.” Everyone in his family and circle of friends keeps asking questions until there are none left to answer.
To get the answers they were looking for, the family wanted to hire a private investigator and put up billboards about the case. They also needed to raise money to pay for the investigator. She also had something to say to Brian. “We still love you very much.” Please go home. Our lives would be very different if you were still here. We think about it every day.
Brian Anthony Wehrle got lost in Carrollton, Georgia, in September 2009. He was 39 years old. When Brian went to his parents’ house in Carrollton, he had an appointment at the nearby courthouse to sign some probate papers. He didn’t show up, though, and police think he was killed. Later, Brian’s abandoned car was found in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but it didn’t have any information about where he was. Brian fell from his bike and was last seen with blue eyes and blonde hair. He was 5 feet 7 inches tall and 140 pounds. Brian had rheumatoid arthritis and a pacemaker in his heart. Please call the Carrollton Police Department at 770-834-4451 if you know anything about Brian.