Derek Seehausen was in his last year of medical school at the University of Southern California. He had already chosen to specialize in anesthesiology. The 26-year-old had always done well in school and was at the top of his class. On both the MCAT and his licensing exam, he got scores in the top 1% of students in the country. Things looked good for him in the future until August 5, 2014, when he left his apartment and was never seen again.
Early in the evening, Derek went out with friends. Around 9 p.m., he left the group because he had to get up early the next morning for work. He was in a good mood and acting like himself, so it didn’t look like anything was wrong with him. His friends thought he went back to his apartment in Los Angeles’s Echo Park neighborhood because he told them he would see them later in the week when school started.
Derek’s friends started to worry that something was wrong when he didn’t show up to any of his classes. He never missed class, and hanging out with his friends wasn’t something he did very often. When one of Derek’s friends called his parents in Pennsylvania, they were shocked to hear that Derek didn’t seem to be there. His parents called the police after several failed attempts to get in touch with him.
The police didn’t find any signs of foul play in Derek’s apartment. He seemed to have just walked out the door without taking anything with him. His laptop, keys, phone, wallet, and ID card were still in his apartment, but his ID card from the state was missing from his wallet.
When Derek’s apartment didn’t give detectives any clues about where he might be, they got video from nearby surveillance cameras. They were able to figure out Derek’s movements on the night he was last seen after going through hours of video.
Two hours after telling his friends he was leaving, at 10:33 pm, Derek was seen in a nearby Vons grocery store. He took $200 out of his bank account using an ATM inside the store and then bought milk and cereal. It looked like he was going home because he left the store after only five minutes. The milk and cereal were found in his apartment. The cereal box had been opened, but the milk bottle was still sealed. The cash he took out was not found, so it’s likely that he took it with him.
After another hour, at 11:34 pm, Derek left his apartment again to go see a friend who lived nearby. Derek’s friend gave him the key to his apartment so that Derek could study there while the friend was out of town. Derek gave the key back and then left almost right away.
After leaving his friend’s house, Derek seems to have gone back to his apartment. It was 11:54 pm, and he used an app on his phone to send $3000 to a friend who had helped him pay for school before his student loan check came. Derek promised to pay back the loan when he graduated, but it’s not clear why he chose to do so so soon after. His friend was surprised that Derek paid back the loan so quickly. The next morning, he texted Derek to find out what happened, but didn’t hear back.
Because Derek forgot his cell phone in his apartment, it’s likely that he was there when he used it to pay his friend back. After that, he left his apartment for good. At 11:55 pm, a surveillance camera caught him walking west on Sunset Boulevard. After that, he crossed Alvarado Street and made his way north.
At 12:02 am, the last surveillance video of Derek was taken. At this point, he was still walking north on Alvarado Street. After this, it’s not clear where he went. He never got to the next security camera, even though it would have taken him six or seven minutes. The police looked at all the surveillance footage from that area, but Derek was not seen again.
Derek would have gone by four bus stops on his way, so it’s possible that he took a bus. He could also have been picked up by someone or called a taxi. The LA Metro buses do have security cameras, but the video is deleted after 72 hours, which is a shame. After Derek went missing, any video footage from the night he was last seen had been erased. Lawyers for taxi companies in the area where Derek was last seen told detectives that none of them had ever sent a cab there on the night in question.
Detectives didn’t find any signs of wrongdoing, but his friends and family were still confused about what happened. Derek did really well in medical school, and his friends said he was excited about the future. It was hard for them to believe he would just quit everything he had worked so hard for. He was a happy, positive person who had shown no signs of sadness or unhappiness.
Although Derek had wanted to become an orthopedic surgeon, he couldn’t because he had plantar fasciitis, a painful condition that affected the heels of his feet. This meant he couldn’t stand for long periods of time, which is necessary for surgeons. Even though he was disappointed at first, he made the decision to switch to anesthesiology and seemed happy with his choice. He told many people that he liked the program and couldn’t wait to start his career.
It was planned for Derek to go to a dinner party the week after he disappeared and to take a trip to Costa Rica with friends over the Christmas break. After he disappeared, a few things he had bought online arrived. He had also been talking to his mother about plans for graduation. Before, there were no signs that he might be getting ready to leave his life.
His family was devastated when he didn’t come home. Derek was one of five kids. He was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. Often, he called home to tell them how much he loved living in California. He was close with his family. His parents were okay with the fact that Derek would never move back to Pennsylvania. He loved living on the west coast and had no plans to leave.
Derek had always been very active and loved doing all sorts of things outside. Camp, hike, surf, and scuba dive were some of his favorite things to do. He never let his plantar fasciitis stop him. He was in great shape because he had competed in an Ironman Triathlon and come in fifth place. On his Facebook page, he often shared photos and videos of what he was doing. He always seemed to be very happy with his life.
Derek’s friends knew he liked being outside, so they spent hours putting up “missing” flyers on southern California hiking trails and camping grounds. They talked to everyone they met and asked them to call if they saw someone who looked like Derek. If he really wanted to disappear and not talk to anyone, they were ready to let him. They just wanted to make sure he was okay.
The police looked through Derek’s computer but didn’t find any signs that he had been planning to disappear. Not only had he not looked up bus times or tried to buy plane tickets, but he also left his passport at home. He seemed to use his computer mostly for schoolwork. He went to some social networking sites, like Reddit and Facebook, but most of his time online was spent on medical issues. They didn’t find any signs that he was in trouble with anyone; Derek didn’t seem to have any enemies who would have wanted to hurt him. Since there was no evidence pointing in any one direction, investigators were more likely to think that Derek left on his own.
A person may have seen Derek on a Los Angeles Metro bus a month after he went missing. On September 5, an LAPD detective was looking for a suspect in a different case when he saw someone who he thought might have been Derek. Someone saw a man who looked like Derek on Pacific Coast Highway near Solana Beach on September 10, which is another possible sighting. The witness said the man looked like he was shuffling his steps. Thomas Martin, a private investigator hired by Derek’s family, thinks that this person saw Derek. The way he walks could be caused by his plantar fasciitis. The police and Martin both said they didn’t think Derek was the victim of foul play.
Derek was smart enough to remove himself from the picture without leaving any signs. Even though he didn’t say he was suicidal, his family and friends find it hard to believe that he would leave to start a new life somewhere else without telling them. Derek never seemed to be stressed about school or work, but he might have been able to hide it well. He might have left everything behind if he had a mental breakdown. At this point, he might not even know who he is, and he might need medical help.
Family and friends of Derek are still hoping that he is still alive. Many of his friends keep writing him on Facebook to tell him they miss him and want him to come home. They want to know if he is okay more than anything else.
It’s been almost seven years since Derek was last seen. Some people think that he probably killed himself, but his body has never been found. Derek’s disappearance has been looked into in great detail by private investigator Thomas Martin, who is sure that Derek did not kill himself. He told the public in 2019 that he would pay $25,000 for information that led to the discovery of Derek or his body. That story can be found at https://www.martinpi.com/25000-reward-for-locating-derek-seehausen-2019/.
Derek Seehausen was last seen in 2014; he was 26 years old. His hair is brown and his eyes are hazel. He was 6 feet tall and 180 pounds when he went missing. He wore a yellow T-shirt, plaid shorts, a black hoodie, a black jacket, and green, turquoise, and black New Balance sneakers the last time he was seen. Please call the Los Angeles Police Department at 213–996–1800 if you know anything about Derek.