10-20-2005, 04:11 PM #1Registered User
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
VA - Robert Kovack, 24, Blacksburg, 18 Sept 1998
I did a search for Rob on this site and don't think anything has ever been posted. I'm not related to this case in anyway, just live near where the vehicle was found and football season always makes me think about him. Where is he?
The following is a summary on his info posted on several sites and what I can remember.
Rob was a student at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. He was planning to travel to his home in Fairmont, WV and on to the WVU/Maryland football game. He was last seen at an ATM near school. Date was September 18, 1998. He was expected to depart Blacksburg in the 5 to 7 pm time frame. He never arrived home and his vehicle (red Geo tracker) was found near Fayetteville WV (near the New River Gorge Bridge) on September 23. It was out of gas and dirty. It may have been stolen from him farther south. Some accounts believe he never left Blacksburg. Very little info about him and his case.
Rob was 25 years old at the time, 6'1", 185 pounds, dark brown hair and eyes.
I've also found him on the DoeNetwork, the Charley Project, National Center for Missing Adults.
This is my first thread and I hope I've adhered to all the rules. If not, please give me guidance.
My personal thought on the story is this: If he did not leave Blacksburg, someone who knew he was going home and where home was had to be involved. The tracker was left on Route 19 where he would have been travelling to go home. I don't think that's a coincidence. Any thoughts on this case? Others of you out there heard anything about it?
11-11-2006, 01:15 AM #2
Robert Leroy Kovack missing Sept 18, 1998, WV/VA
Here's a case that I rarely stop thinking about. Rob went to school in Blacksburg, Va, lived in Fairmont, WV. He drove thru where I live in Summersville, WV on US Route 19 to travel back and forth. His vehicle was found abandoned on this route in Fayetteville, WV (also home to the somewhat famous Sodder story which has it's own thread) about 5 or 6 days after he was last seen.
Here are some links for him
I was absolutely convinced that this guy was him
because of the VT game being played in FL, thought he may have decided to go there...
And after days of debating, I contacted the Blacksburg police. I got a response very quickly and they were very nice. Informed me that this guy had been looked at and eliminated. He did tell me that they check his SS# periodically and there has been no activity since he disappeared.
Such a good looking guy. I just about wreck driving by the spot where they found his car in hopes that I'll get some vibes from a higher plane that will give us the answers.
Last edited by LisainWV; 11-11-2006 at 02:21 PM. Reason: added area to title
11-11-2006, 02:50 AM #3Originally Posted by LisainWV
The only thing I see that would make me think twice is the estimated date of death for JD is in Aug. and Rob didn't disapear until the middle of Sept.
I wonder who John Doe is and I also wonder where Robert is!
11-11-2006, 12:57 PM #4
Glad you pointed out the est death, I don't think that was on there when I first "found" him. I feel better about him definitely not being a match now.
I tell myself I'm going to go drive Rob's route now that the leaves are gone from the trees and look for some evidence of him or his stuff.
from the info I have found and received, the idea is that Rob never left Blacksburg (I read somewhere, sorry, I have looked at absolutely anything I can find about him) that his shaving kit was left in his dorm room. However, his car was found on his route? someone knew his route and "planted" the car?
The car was left within a 1/4 mile of the New River Gorge Bridge (where the guy died parachuting from it last month on Bridge Day) and when Rob was missing, speculation was that he had jumped from the bridge. No body was ever recovered though.
11-11-2006, 07:22 PM #5Registered User
Originally Posted by LisainWV
- Join Date
- Feb 2005
Was there a reason for the speculation, some sort of personal probelm or just speculation because of where the vehicle was found?
As many rafters as go down that river, I think his body would have been found if he had jumped. Besides, that time of the year the river is usually pretty low.
Interesting case. I remember you mentioning it a while back when the other VT student was killed.Retired 08/03/03
11-11-2006, 08:55 PM #6
Shadow...not to be mean to anyone here, but my guess is that suicide was the easiest way for LE to "handle" it. I don't believe he jumped. That is during the peak of Gauley rafting season (water being released from Summersville Lake into the New River) which runs Mon thru Friday. Right about the time he would have jumped, the river would have been crawling with rafters, photographers, fishermen... IMO, he didn't jump.
I'm sorry i can't provide links for all my thoughts - I followed this in the paper religiously when it was hot - his car was out of gas and dirty. A clerk in a convenience store said she thought she remembered him coming in, buying a gas can and gas. This would have required a walk across the New River Gorge Bridge to the station and back across the bridge to get back to his car. Someone would have seen him. Pedestrians on the bridge is illegal and there is no walkway on it.
Maybe he hitched a ride to the station and back to the car?
Family said it was very odd for his car to be as dirty as it was.
I'm gonna hit the Beckley newspapers soon and refresh myself on what was reported at the time. Maybe I'll find something that has slipped my mind.
I remember the posters being all over town and everyone talking about him.
Course, we could start a thread on "Strange occurences in Fayette County, WV."...
5 missing kids from a house fire
the Mad Butcher stories
several unsolved murders
the missing undertakers wife (wonder who she's sharing quarters with?)
11-11-2006, 09:09 PM #7
05-27-2007, 07:50 PM #8
bumping for robert.
05-28-2007, 09:18 AM #9Registered User
- Join Date
- Apr 2007
First before I forget does anyone who follows the case know where there might be more pictures of Robert?
okay i'm sure this isnt him.. but I keep looking at photos and well every once in awhile I think wellll maybbbbbbbeeeeeeee but I'm sure thats just from looking at the pictures for so long... but his description doesnt match..
But this poor guy here!!!
and if someone knows where that case might be located on here? (i tried to search it)
05-28-2007, 11:07 AM #10Registered User
- Join Date
- Feb 2005
05-29-2007, 06:17 PM #11
So glad to see that others continue to think about my "pet case."
kaylen, I don't think your guy looks much like Rob, but who knows....? It's obviously tougher to ID bodies than one would think, otherwise there wouldn't be so many of them.
05-29-2007, 06:58 PM #12Registered User
- Join Date
- Apr 2007
Yea it seems all the faces kinda blur together after awhile.. Its just weird.. like one picture the hair line might look the same but on others not... and another thing I noticed (could just be a distorted picture from being zoomed in and lightened) but on the missing there looks like a pot mark on this side of his face (maybe a couple?) and on that one guy who died. .it looks like he has one too around that same area (but might just be the picture) and even the nose.. I wasnt sure if it would "grow" bigger or whatever with tubes in there? Wish someone could figure out who this poor guys is!
ETA question! Do you know of a program that you can have pictures side by side to view/zoom? Right now I can only figure out how to look at one picture at a time instead of side by side
ETA: Here's a link for the 1998 schedule incase it helps anyone out (hope its the right) but might help out on some dates
05-29-2007, 07:55 PM #13Registered User
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
- Virginia West
Lisa, I thing a thread would be great for strange happenings in Fayette Co. Also remember the Margie Dodd case (disappeared on her way home from work at a bank) in 1977 in Beaver just a few miles from the Fayette Co. Border. in Raleigh Co.
05-29-2007, 09:51 PM #14
Fox, sure do remember Margie - there's a fascinating story. Also, the girl that went missing from Beckley (Raleigh County, next door to Fayette) and her VW bug was found burnt I believe. Plenty of strange happenings for an area this small and rural....
I just can't wrap myself around Rob's tracker being found on his route home even though police believe it was stolen from him before he left school. That tells me that whoever planted it, knew him well enough to know his route home OR, it really was Rob driving it when it ran out of gas and something happened to him at that point.
I have googled the last name for Fairmont, WV (he's actually from a small town outside Fairmont, can't remember the name) and felt at one time that I had located some of his family. I would love to contact them for more info, but you just don't know how these people deal with this everyday and how questions will be accepted...
05-29-2007, 10:04 PM #15Former Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2007
And my mom and dad who live in wetzel county WV can't understand why I am more fearful of the country than city.
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