Ten years ago Thursday, after a night out with friends, 24-year-old Kyle Fleischmann walked out of an uptown Charlotte bar and into the unknown.
Now he’s among 45 open cases highlighted on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Missing Persons Gallery. Some disappeared as long ago as 1975. The most recent case was reported Saturday.
Rhonda Baucom, 29, went missing from her Central Avenue apartment on May 26, 1987. Two-year-old Allah El-Jahid never came home to his mother after a 2003 visit with his father. Raymond Lawrence Johnson, 67, was last seen in September 2017 walking near Monroe and Idlewild roads.
And then there is Fleischmann, who was last seen in a short-sleeve shirt and jeans leaving uptown’s Buckhead Saloon at 2:20 a.m. on the 30-degree morning of Nov. 9, 2007.
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“It was a good time and everyone was in high spirits that night … we all had a lot to celebrate and look forward to,” his best friend, Daniel Scagnelli, told Charlotte Five at the 10-year anniversary of his disappearance.
Fleischmann, who was intoxicated when he left the bar, was later seen at an uptown pizza restaurant. Apparently looking for a ride home, he tried unsuccessfully to call his sister, his roommate, Scagnelli and his dad’s office. Then he was gone.
The Elon University graduate, who worked at a health care agency, was twice featured on TV’s “America’s Most Wanted” in hopes of getting telephoned tips. Hundreds of volunteers helped Charlotte police search for clues.
Dick Fleischmann, who now lives out of state with his wife, no longer harbors hope that the first of his three children is alive.
He believes Kyle returned to Buckhead Saloon to retrieve his coat and wallet and found it closed. He believes that Kyle wandered up North Davidson Street – from which a call from his phone was placed – where he was assaulted, probably in a robbery, and killed. Police were reported to have searched a construction site in the area.
“The sad thing is that if it was today, he could have posted Uber and been home,” he said Thursday.
Dick Fleischmann, who’s 61, said Charlotte police interviewed one but not all the employees of the pizza restaurant he visited, and who live in the North Davidson area. The detective on the case couldn’t be reached Thursday morning. Fleischmann said he hasn’t spoken to police investigators since 2013. A Help Find Kyle Fleischmann Facebook page no longer gets leads, he said.
Their memories of Kyle have helped the family get through the past decade, Fleischmann said.
“Kyle was a good-natured guy, and the last thing he would want to do would be to make anybody feel bad,” he said. “If he could see us, the last thing he’d want to do is see us fall apart.
“He was a good kid. When I start feeling bad, I think about that.”
Researcher Maria David contributed.
Anyone with information on the disappearance of Kyle Fleischmann is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.