CHARLOTTE, NC – Kyle Fleischmann is arguably the most high-profile unsolved, mysterious missing person’s case in Charlotte in the past decade. The 24-year old walked out of Buckhead Saloon in Uptown Charlotte alone and drunk on November 9th, 2007, and was never seen again.
At least that’s what we all thought.
But Kyle’s father says at least two other people saw him afterwards.
“I find it hard to believe that nothing to this day has ever come forward with anything about my son,” Dick Fleischmann says. “We feel very strongly this is a ‘local issue’ and the people who know what happened to him are still in town. I really believe if we ever find out anything, it’s going to be because of a local and not national report.”
He also says all media exposure is important, so he and his wife sat down recently with Lifetime Television producers. Lifetime told him they are going to feature Kyle’s case in a series about ten high-profile missing person stories across the country. Beth Holloway — Natalie Holloway’s mother — conducted the interview.
“They interviewed my wife and I separately,” Dick said. “A lot of it was about how we feel. But the guy standing behind Beth Holloway, he was more… his investigative thoughts were more on. You could tell he wondered more about, ‘Why haven’t they…’ versus how I feel about losing Kyle.”
Dick Fleischmann says he feels the same way today — 3-and-a-half years later — as he did in that first hour he heard his oldest son was missing. He fears the worst.
“I know he’s deceased,” Dick says. “We were very close.”
When Kyle disappeared, the city of Charlotte mobilized almost immediately. Kyle’s parents hired private investigators. Police blanketed the areas near Buckhead Saloon. Volunteers handed out flyers. A Facebook page (which is still in existence) was started by Kyle’s friends. 50,000 people signed up to follow those Facebook updates.
Surveillance video of Kyle walking out of Buckhead was released. You can see him walking out alone and coatless. It was about 30-degrees outside.
Dick Fleischmann now tells us there is other surveillance we haven’t seen — video of Kyle standing outside Fuel Pizza, just down the block. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say it’s an active investigation and they can’t confirm if they have that video. Fuel Pizza tells us they’d cooperate if they could, but they don’t have a copy.
But Dick says he’s seen that video, and he knows his son wasn’t just standing in the cold outside the popular pizza place. He says an employee remembered serving Kyle inside the store that night.
We tracked that employee down. He didn’t want his identity revealed but did confirm seeing Kyle around 2:30am the morning he went missing.
“He came in alone,” this employee said. “Normally not many people come in alone. But I took his order. I put his order in. I rang him up, and then right after I rang him up, he went to the bathroom.”
He also tells us Kyle ordered two pizza slices. Two “extremes”.
That specific information is why Dick Fleischmann says he knows this employee is telling the truth.
“The fact he said he had a pizza with everything on it,” says Dick. “That’s what he always ordered. If the guy would’ve said he ordered a plain slice, I would’ve said, that doesn’t sound like him.”
The employee says he didn’t see Kyle leave because a big late-night rush came in after Kyle and things got busy. The intoxicated 20-something-year-old he remembered walking in alone and without a coat left his mind. He says he didn’t think about him again until days later when someone came in handing out flyers with Kyle’s picture.
That employee is not the only one who remembers seeing Kyle in those early-morning hours. Dick Fleischmann says it has never been reported until now… but a cab driver told private investigators he saw Kyle. One of those private investigators still works undercover for Investigative Security Services. He agreed to interview with us as long as we kept him anonymous.
“The cab driver said he recalled seeing a white male, that looked similar to the description we were putting out on Kyle Fleischmann,” the agent says. “He told us he was traveling outbound on North Davidson Street. Approaching the 1100 block. Approaching the railroad tracks near Hunter Wrecker Service. He knew enough about the area that he gave details.”
“[The cab driver] couldn’t 100% identify him,” says Dick Fleischmann. “But my feeling is that the guy made a comment of compassion and was worried about somebody, which means he saw him pretty good. He saw a kid with no jacket, a kid they felt — this guy even said — was not in the right place. He did say he was intoxicated. And the time of day he said he saw him was exactly when Kyle’s cell phone was going off in that area. So I believe they saw him, absolutely.”
Dick says records show Kyle’s cell phone hit the tower close to that North Davidson area at 3:28am. Which is close, Dick says, to when the cab driver stated he saw him at 3:25am.
There is a $50,000 reward out there for anyone with leading information to help solve this case. Call CMPD’s Crimestoppers tipline at 704-334-1600.