Barbara Fleischmann hadn’t had much reason to celebrate in the days before November 8, 2007. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was a week away from having surgery for the first time. Looking for a way to lift his mother’s spirits, her son Kyle decided to treat her to a Dane Cook comedy show at a local arena. Kyle’s sister, Noelle, and his best friend, Dan Scagnelli, went as well. The comedy show was over around 10:00pm, and Barbara and her daughter headed straight home, while Kyle and Dan decided to meet up with some friends and have a few drinks.

It was a cold night in Charlotte, North Carolina, with the thermometer hovering just under the freezing mark. Barbara thanked Kyle for the fun evening out, then she and Noelle said a hasty goodbye as they climbed into the warmth of their car. Kyle called out that he would talk to his mother the following day, and then he followed Dan into the Buckhead Saloon. Located in uptown Charlotte, the bar attracted a relatively young clientele, and it was usually quite crowded. That Thursday night was no exception. Kyle split his time between hanging out with his friends and chatting with a girl he met at the bar. Because it was a work night, most of the group left around midnight. Dan closed out his tab at 1:00am, but Kyle was still chatting up some ladies and decided he would stay a little longer. He told Dan he would take a cab to Dan’s home to retrieve his car in a couple hours, and the two friends parted ways.

When Dan woke up early Friday morning to start getting ready for work, he checked his cell phone and noticed a missed a call from Kyle. He assumed it hadn’t been anything important, since Kyle hadn’t bothered to leave a voicemail message. It wasn’t until a little later, when Dan saw that Kyle’s car was still parked in his driveway, that he realized something was wrong. He tried to get a hold of Kyle on his cell phone, but it went straight to voicemail. He then called Kyle’s roommates, who confirmed that Kyle hadn’t come home the night before.

Dan was hesitant to call Kyle’s parents; it was still possible there was a reasonable explanation for Kyle’s apparent absence, and he didn’t want to worry them needlessly. There was always a chance Kyle had ended up going to his parents’ house, though, so Dan made the decision to call them. Although his sister also had a missed call from Kyle, no one in the family had spoken to him since the night before, and no one had been able to reach him that morning. Still, no one wanted to panic yet; perhaps Kyle had a little too much to drink and stayed on someone’s couch for the night. Hoping this was what happened, they waited anxiously to see if Kyle would show up to work on time.

By mid-morning, with no sign of Kyle anywhere, his friends and family knew something was dreadfully wrong. Repeated calls to his cell phone were just going straight to voicemail, his roommates hadn’t seen him, and his car was still sitting at Dan’s house. Panicked, Kyle’s parents called the police, and they launched a search for Kyle. Afraid the case wouldn’t receive adequate police attention because Kyle was an adult, his family also hired a private investigator to chase down leads. In addition, Dan created a missing person page for Kyle on Facebook, and urged each of his 400 Facebook friends to share it. Within two weeks, there were 60,000 people following the case on Facebook.

Investigators tried to put together the hours before Kyle went missing by looking at surveillance footage and talking to witnesses. Kyle kept talking to one of the girls he met after Dan left the bar, and the two of them even danced together. When this woman saw Kyle dancing with her, her boyfriend wasn’t happy. They were at the bar together. A video from inside the bar shows that this man and two of his friends came up to Kyle and talked to him. No physical altercation seemed to happen—at least, nothing that would have caught the attention of the club’s bouncers. At this point, the man and his girlfriend left the bar together. Soon after this, Kyle left the bar. A surveillance video shows him leaving the bar at 2:20 am. At that time, he seems to be by himself.

The last thing Kyle did before leaving the Buckhead Saloon was call his sister on his cell phone at 2:19 am. She didn’t answer, though. Since he didn’t leave a message, we don’t know why he called, but he might have been looking for a ride home. Kyle forgot to take his coat with him when he left the bar. Even though it was only 30 degrees outside, he was probably drunk and might not have noticed.

Kyle gave the bartender his debit card when he first walked in, just like a lot of other people. During the night, his drinks were added to his bill. The bartender said it happened all the time: people would forget to get their card at the end of the night. It’s possible that Kyle really did forget about the open tab. As a result, he may not have known that he was walking around without a coat or debit card because he was so drunk. Some people think he was in a hurry to leave the bar, maybe because he wanted to catch up with the girl he had been dancing with. Kyle may have also thought he would only be outside for a short time and had planned to get his coat and pay his bill when he got back inside. It’s not possible to know for sure.

Anyone who saw him after he left the bar confirmed seeing him again at 2:30 am, so who knows what he was up to. Watch video of him walking alone down College Avenue toward Fuel Pizza, which is right next door to the Buckhead Saloon. Just looking at the few seconds of grainy video makes it hard to tell if Kyle was drunk or not. He seems to be walking normally, though, not stumbling. A worker at Fuel Pizza told the police that Kyle had come in and ordered two pizzas. The worker didn’t see if Kyle left alone or with someone else.

In the early hours of February 22, Kyle called the Buckhead Saloon on his cell phone. He may have been trying to get his coat and debit card back. There wasn’t anyone there to answer the phone when he called. After that, Kyle called his dad’s office four times in the fifteen minutes between 2:42 am and 2:57 am. Not sure what to make of this since Kyle should have known his dad wouldn’t be at work at that time of night. Again, he didn’t leave a message, so we still don’t know why he called. Police say that Kyle was still in the uptown area when he made all of these calls because his cell phone records show that. He does not show up on any other surveillance videos, though.

Around 3:25 am, a taxi driver thought he saw Kyle walking on North Davidson Street. The driver saw that he wasn’t wearing a coat and thought he looked like he was drunk. Any chance this was really Kyle? He had made it to the part of Charlotte that people call “NoDa.” Kyle had lived in Charlotte for a while, so he would have known that the NoDa area, which was the opposite direction from his condo, was not where he wanted to be. Drug dealers and gang members often went to that part of the city because it was known for being violent and dangerous.

That was the last time Kyle tried to call Dan. It was 3:28 am, but the call only lasted four seconds. He tried to call his roommate at 3:29 am, but the call broke up after only six seconds. For some reason, he didn’t leave a voicemail either time, and his phone may have been almost dead at this point. His phone was dead by 4:00 am.

Eight calls were made by Kyle after leaving the Buckhead Saloon. Almost all of them were made from uptown, close to the bar. The last call came near a small wooden bridge that led into one of the worst parts of the city: Cordelia Park, which is a known spot for drug dealers and gang members to hang out. The police looked all over this area for Kyle but couldn’t find any clues about what happened.

As days went by with no sign of Kyle and no information on what could have happened to him, his parents hired Public Safety Dogs, Inc. to see if they could come up with any clues. Based in North Carolina, the nonprofit organization used a variety of dogs trained to search for various scents. Mike Craig, the president of the group, and dog handler Linda Dunn agreed to take on the case. After getting Kyle’s scent from the coat he had forgotten at the bar, Linda had her bloodhound, Triple A, attempt to track Kyle. Starting from his last known whereabouts, Fuel Pizza, Triple A quickly picked up a scent trail and headed towards some railroad tracks nearby. The dog continued tracking Kyle’s scent in a wide loop, indicating that Kyle had walked around in a large circle. Linda believed this could have been because he believed someone was following him and he was trying to throw them off, but there is no way of knowing what was actually going through his mind at the time. Next, Linda had her German shepherd, Callie, attempt to track Kyle as well. The path Callie took was almost identical to that of Triple A.

The following evening, Mike and Linda took the dogs back out, this time starting in Cordelia Park. The dogs immediately hit on Kyle’s scent, indicating that he had been in the park at one point. They didn’t remain in the park very long, though, as Mike believed it was too dangerous for them to be there. Their search had attracted some unwelcome attention from some of the people who frequented the park, and Mike believed their safety was at risk. They returned to the park the following morning, and Linda said the dogs tracked Kyle’s scent to a nearby construction site. They meticulously searched the entire site over the next several days, but found nothing related to Kyle.

The construction site was located about 200 yards from Cordelia Park, and it was filled with large mounds of fresh dirt. While it’s possible that someone had decided it was the perfect place to hide a body, it’s also very possible that the smell came from a decaying animal, not necessarily a human being. Police later brought in their own cadaver dogs, specially trained to seek out the smell of human remains, and went over the entire construction site again. In addition to the dogs, they used ground penetrating radar and poked around in each of the mounds of dirt, but located absolutely nothing. Eventually, construction resumed at the site, and there is an apartment complex located there now.

Despite an exhaustive search, no trace of Kyle has ever been found. There are many theories about what might have happened to Kyle, but precious little evidence to support any of them. His parents fully believe that he was killed that night, perhaps in a robbery gone wrong. They are convinced that his body was dumped at the construction site and most likely remains there, hidden under the massive apartment building. It’s possible they’re right, but the site was thoroughly searched by both humans and dogs, and none came back with any conclusive evidence to say he was there.

Kyle’s family left Charlotte about three years after he went missing, moving first to Hilton Head, South Carolina and then to Florida, where they live today. They believe Kyle is dead and his body will never be found, though the case is still considered an open investigation. Police believe someone out there has the information needed to solve this case and bring some measure of closure to the Fleischmann family.

Kyle Fleischmann was 24 at the time of his disappearance, with brown hair and green eyes. He has porcelain veneers on his upper front teeth. He is 6 feet tall and weighed around 180 pounds when he went missing. When he was last seen he was wearing jeans, a dark colored shirt, and black dress shoes. He was carrying a cell phone, his wallet, and a set of keys. If you have any information about Kyle, please call the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department at 704–336–7600. There is a reward being offered for information leading to Kyle or the persons responsible for his death.

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