NV NV - Steven Koecher, 30, Henderson, 13 Dec 2009 - #22

Discussion in '2000's Missing' started by bessie, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. SeekingJana

    SeekingJana May I be the person my dogs think I am! :)

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    Respectfully snipped. Do you, or does anyone, know more about this? His Bishop failed to help him? Usually, they don't delay when people can't pay their rent and likely are barely eating. We know he was likely sleeping in his car because of the blankets and pillows found.

    Why did his Bishop not give him immediate access to emergency housing and storehouse provisions? Do you think he knew Steven was virtually homeless?

    My observed history with the LDS may be different from other peoples' regarding the emergency help given in times of trouble. I never needed assistance but I do know of some families in crisis and unmarried women with job losses who were helped in the blink of an eye.

    Is it a location thing? Is it economic, as in less affluent wards give less help?

    Also, what about the job situation? Why didn't he get job placement assistance in the church department that handles this? I'm not sure he even had to go through his Bishop to get to the job placement center help.

    I am glad I am no longer LDS now. I had wondered at times whether I made a mistake, but no, if they let this man die because they didn't help him well or fast enough and he did something desperate, trusted the wrong people, or made fatal errors in other ways we don't know yet, then part of his blood is on the church's hands, IMO.
     
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  2. Fairy1

    Fairy1 VOTE!!!

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    IIRC, Steven's bishop said he would help Steven find a job "after the holidays."

    It has always bothered me is that his own church in St. George and the wards here in Vegas/Henderson failed to mobilize in the search for him. That would have (and should have) been a virtual army. But they never did. That's odd to me.
     
  3. SeekingJana

    SeekingJana May I be the person my dogs think I am! :)

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    I am literally having nightmares over this info. It's more than " odd" to me. It's evil. It goes against everything I've seen in action and also helped accomplish for people in need myself with other sisters in LDS relief society.

    I not only think it's evil, I think these people who failed him who were his Bishop and other elders in the ward, should be investigated without delay. Usually, they are the more mature men, so time is of the essence.
    As to " why" they'd fail to help one of their brothers in a time of need, especially with his history that is just perfect in what is known about his missions. He was a young man who would likely have become a leader and gone far in the LDS world, if he'd wanted to.

    What caused them to fail to help him promptly? I've never known of even a day's delay in finding shelter and food for someone who was as down as he was. He needed most the very people who failed him.
    It definitely should be investigated and every one of those people interviewed and interviewed HARD. And one day, if he's not alive now, they are going to have to answer to their God for not making him comfy and fed and in a safe apartment or the basement of a member's house, IDK, they work out all kinds of things here with elderly members who'd like a companion in their extra space in a studio apartment or basement or guest house.

    These short term emergency member housing areas are kept empty for the most part, as permanent housing is found after a job is obtained, but for Steven, he had marketable skills. He had a job history. He was also young enough to start out in any field they had openings in at the job placement training center, very good jobs with a solid future in most cases, not handing out fliers ( or flyers, I don't know as I don't know much about people having to do that sort of thing. ) Also, most of these positions to help people full time at the job training centers are NOT volunteer positions. They are paid a salary by the church because it's a full time job.

    The goal with LDS members helping other LDS members has always been " Do not apply for or accept government program assistance. We take care of our own". If I've heard if and read it once, I've read it and heard it 10001 times!!!!

    What on earth kept him from going and humbling himself and pretty much saying " I am living in my car and it's cold" or " I will be on the streets in a week and it's cold out there and I need help now'? I'd have gone to my Bishop every day and his aides too, and they would have known I wasn't exaggerating if I had no job, no money, no rent money, and a family living elsewhere. Maybe he did all that and they still didn't help him? Is that even possible? It boggles my mind so.

    Now, he may have been counseled to go to his family if possible, and he chose not to, but that's his choice.
    ALL the help should have been given to him as a 30 year old MAN, not a teenager living at home. He needed to have a firm strong rock solid foundation for living: Housing, food, clothing, a JOB that led to a fine career, and gas money and a good car to get there. The church provides all this, and he could have worked on weekends at parts of the cannery or the food storage supply house to pay the church back through his service to others, not in dollars!!!


    I feel like part of my soul has died in thinking about what all is there for every member, and also probably every searching guest who is honest and humble, and this man was at least a second generation LDS if not 3rd generation. I can't believe it, I simply cannot comprehend WHY they failed him.

    And if anyone in this world says " But it was the holidays" NO. Just NO. That is not the way the church works, not the way Christmas is celebrated anyway, it is not commercialized, it is quiet and homey and humble. It was NOT about the holidays unless they forgot the prophet's teachings. We are to celebrate Jesus's being on earth and what he did for each of us every single day as LDS. Not on 2 days a year, Christmas and Easter. We do small things if we have young children in the family, yes, like Steven bought some gifts at K Mart for his nieces and nephews, but this time at Christmas is a time of giving of one's time and talents to the less fortunate if any time of the year possibly can be, it's when " the world" is celebrating with material things.

    What happened to Steven? Who hurt him? WHY?
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
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  4. RayHoliday

    RayHoliday Expose the dark by blinding them with the Light

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    Steven had shelter and food and a family willing to help him financially. He was not on the streets. As much as I have reason to criticize the LDS church, I really don't think it's fair to blame the church for Stevens dissapearence.
     
  5. RayHoliday

    RayHoliday Expose the dark by blinding them with the Light

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    The LDS church does indeed have home teaching program where a pair is usually assigned to certain members of the ward to have a message/lesson at their home also a wellness check. Firesides and other social activities are also done in members homes at times.
     
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  6. SeekingJana

    SeekingJana May I be the person my dogs think I am! :)

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    He was a very short walk from being homeless. As we know, he became homeless, living in his car, with no family members around him at all. One of his last known acts was to show that he was thinking of his family and loved them buy purchasing small gifts from K Mart for his little nieces and nephews.

    I don't blame the church for Steven's disappearance. No. 1001 things could have happened to him when he was in a desperate situation looking for a temporary job. That's my point. The church has job placement centers. Likely, they could have placed him the day he called into a nice safe temporary position and helped him find a permanent career which suited him and was in the location where he wanted to live. He was unsettled, he needed grounding. The LDS network is absolutely tops in helping a person find their way in the world, to ask the questions which matter, to listen to the answers, to separate the pipe dreams from the reality and to help a person find safe and affordable living quarters, a reliable job which can work into being a successful career or be a stepping stone to a reliable and good career, and to feed and clothe a person who's down to his last bit of cash, going in erratic directions here and there for questionable reasons.

    If Steven asked for job placement help, or if his Bishop knew he needed help, if he asked for housing assistance in just finding something he could afford or maybe help an older adult out for a while in lieu of rent and this was put off for reasons that aren't valid such as the Bishop not knowing of any way to help Steven, then yes, that man failed him and so did every other person who knew he was in a desperate situation. The Bishop had a phone. He had contacts both locally and nationwide.
    He had tons and tons of resources to help or get help if he didn't have a list of empty apartments or rooms in his ward.

    I've known people who likely would have died without prompt help. Some had little children, others were single adults. There is no shame in poverty, there is shame in remaining in poverty. IF Steven made his needs known, then the help was to come from his church at large by authority of the Prophet. It is LDS tenet not to accept government help programs. This means the church has to have strong and reliable help available because every single one of us is one house fire, one tornado or other natural disaster away from homelessness, even temporarily. LDS are commanded to go to their Bishop for help in deep times of trouble for he tends his sheep on earth for Heavenly Father.
     
  7. Fairy1

    Fairy1 VOTE!!!

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    Steven was not homeless. IIRC, he was sleeping in his car during his travels doing..... whatever he was doing prior to going missing. He also had a job, just not a good one.

    And he had a loving family to whom he apparently chose not to reach out for assistance. They only found out about his situation when the LL contacted them about Steven being behind with his rent. I feel like it's pretty safe to assume he downplayed the seriousness of his situation with his bishop, too, which would explain the lack of urgency in helping him.
     
  8. SeekingJana

    SeekingJana May I be the person my dogs think I am! :)

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    I think he likely downplayed the urgency of his situation as well.
    I am really puzzled as to why he chose not to turn to the people he'd always been taught to turn to: His parents and his church leaders.
    That's my main frustration and sorrow, I think is the best way I can put it. Sorrow.
     
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  9. cocomod

    cocomod Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Fairy1! I think it is misinformation to say that he was homeless. We know that he had a Landlord and although he was behind on his rent, he was not living in his car. I too agree that his bishop likely did not know how dire his financial situation may have been. He was angry at his father for offering help. He was proud - maybe a little to proud (likely didn't like to accept help).
     
  10. timsmith

    timsmith Active Member

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    That is likely the most realistic scenario. The Disappeared episode shed light on this. Steven seemed to keep his financial problems to himself and didn't want to take handouts. I think that he truly understood his situation. Accepting money from others is not a permanent solution. Full time employment with a living wage is the solution. I think he knew that. Most of us can agree that nobody owes anybody a job. While his church may have been willing to help, I don't know if they were able to find a decent career for him. I can't speak for LDS. I belong to another denomination. People are much more reserved and little to no support is available in my denomination. In fact, if you reach out to befriend others within the church, some quickly jump to certain conclusions by thinking that you have bad intentions. I kid you not. I remain with the church because it is all I am familiar with. I'm just bringing this up because some churches can't or won't help others except to keep them in prayer.

    I don't know if he was interested in continuing with journalism or looking for something different. Sometimes when you leave a job it is very difficult to find something similar or in a different field at the same salary or higher even in good economic times. Plus since he already had a Bachelor's degree, he was ineligible for certain tax deductions if he decided to return to school. Something stood out to me. One of his friends said on here long ago that both he and Steven had "average intelligence." There is nothing wrong with that comment, since I am in that category. That could have been the reality in Steven's life. He may not have had the specific skill set for the soon-to-be 2010s workplace. Taking a restaurant or retail job may have been uncomfortable to him in comparison with his siblings and cousins who had more unique career paths.

    He certainly was not alone during the financial crisis. While I try to be positive, I am a realistic person. Even today, high paying jobs are hard to find. His church may have been able to provide more support, but I really don't know since I am not LDS. The likely reality in his life was actually finding a career, but didn't have the right connections and/or skill set.
     
  11. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    His unwillingness to turn to his family in his time of trouble is part of what has always made me concerned that he may have harmed himself, either accidentally or sadly on purpose :( I pray I'm wrong.
     
  12. ScorpioRising

    ScorpioRising Well-Known Member

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    I came to this same conclusion. I would like to add that the LL's wife at some point mentioned that her husband sleeps in his car while on the road for business in order to save on hotel cost etc. (It's at the very beginning of the overall thread for anybody who would like to dive in again).
     
  13. Fairy1

    Fairy1 VOTE!!!

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    We must remember that Steven was a 30-year-old man. It was the LL who contacted his parents about him being behind on the rent - which is weird to me. Maybe it was pride? IDK.

    It's always been odd to me that Steven's reasons for moving from northern Utah to southern Utah were that he didn't like the weather, his working hours nor the fact that he couldn't hang out with his friends and family. And yet, he moved somewhere where he had no job and no friends or family. That we know of, anyway.

    The LDS church does take care of its own. But they also have sort of a structure that adheres to their beliefs. At his age, Steven should have been married with a family. As that wasn't the case, I feel that he probably didn't have the support system that he needed. He was possibly hiding his circumstances from his family and trying too hard to fit into his church family, which didn't really have a place for him.

    I do believe Steven was very vulnerable. I don't believe he was suicidal. IMO, whatever did lead to his disappearance either started in St. George or even before he moved to St. George.
     
  14. SassyBenton

    SassyBenton Active Member

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    Not many people have brought this up but I’ve always wondered about it and think it might be important. As far as I have read the only friends Steven had in St. George were from his ward at church. Maybe he felt comfortable moving to an area where he didn’t know anyone because he knew he would find friends through his church? However, this doesn’t explain why he would move to a place with a horrible job market at the time.
     
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  15. Fairy1

    Fairy1 VOTE!!!

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    And without a job to go to. That's quite risky for anyone, IMO.

    IDK what Steven's expectations were with regard to his church. The LDS have singles wards and family wards. By all accounts, he went above and beyond at his church. In fact, the day that he disappeared, he offered to go back to St. George immediately to fill in for GW. That's also odd to me. It implies that whatever he was in Vegas/Henderson to do wasn't really that important. Why?
     
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  16. timsmith

    timsmith Active Member

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    Happy Birthday, Steven!
     
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  17. fridaybaker

    fridaybaker Well-Known Member

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    Because what he was doing in the Vegas/Henderson area wasn't a time card punch/9 - 5/report to an office-type job, but a "free-lance", delivery type of job, with a flexible schedule? Hmmm...
     
  18. Fairy1

    Fairy1 VOTE!!!

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    Our local NBC affiliate, KSNV, will be doing a story on Steven this week - but I missed when. Will keep an eye out and post here when available. Just really happy to see some attention after so long.
     
  19. fridaybaker

    fridaybaker Well-Known Member

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    Fairy, thanks for keeping us updated! This is one of the most perplexing cases here on Websleuths in my book. I know that people disappear all the time, but Steven always seems to me like the least-likely sort to go missing. I've never found a voluntary disappearance at all likely, and everything just seems to point to a man, down on his luck, who was pushed into some business opportunity or other circumstance that was at least borderline dangerous, and succumbed to the danger. However, this wasn't a man who was a "loner", without close friends/family. He did live alone, but was quite connected to family, friends, and church. The difference between that situation and the level of (at least visible) effort to find him is just astonishing.

    Think of Jennifer Kesse. (Yes, she does fit a "type" in our culture which always seems to generate quite a bit of interest.) She also was very social. Even so, it doesn't account for the interest/publicity/police effort in her case being as far and away, exponentially, astronomically, higher than that in the case of SK. At least from what I can tell. Over the years, in the case of Jennifer Kesse, there have been TV shows highlighting the case, numerous interviews, the FBI called in, family that update a blog and, for a long time, participated in the forums here, answering questions, asking for ideas, leads, etc. That's on top of most of Orlando plastered with posters, billboards, and more.

    The quiescence surrounding SK's case is strange. Not a loner; not a drug addict/gambler, or anyone on the "fringe" of society. I sure wish I understood it more.
     
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  20. Fairy1

    Fairy1 VOTE!!!

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    This will air tomorrow night at 11. :)
     

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