Foul play not ruled out in disappearance of Athens man over four months ago


Frank Christopher Stefan

By Joe Johnson

Athens-Clarke County police have not ruled out the possibility that foul play might have been involved in the disappearance of an Athens man who was last seen four months ago.

According to police, 25-year-old Frank Christopher Stefan was last seen on Dec. 24 by a roommate at a boarding house located at 198 S. Rocksprings St., but he was not reported as missing until his landlord filed a report on Jan. 12

Originally from Ohio, Stefan moved into the boarding house six weeks prior to his landlord reporting him as missing, according to police, who said that Stefan had just renewed his lease for six months just prior to disappearing.

The landlord provided police with Stefan’s wallet, which he said had been in the missing man's room, along with his house keys.

A roommate told police that Stefan told him on Christmas Eve that he was going for a walk, but he never returned.

An officer wrote in a police report that she looked through Stefan’s room but did not observe anything that would make her suspect foul play. The report noted that all of the man’s belongings appeared to be in the room.

"While there are no obvious signs of foul play, it is unusual for Mr. Stefan to be gone for this amount of time," police said at the time.

Meanwhile, police have explored several avenues in their search for the man.

“To our knowledge, Mr. Stefan did not have any diagnosed medical conditions or substance abuse problems,” said Lt. Shaun Barnett, ACCPD’s public information officer. “There is nothing that leads investigators to believe that he was suicidal.

According to Barnett, detectives have canvassed the area of the boarding house and used a drone to search the area.

“We have spoken with coworkers, roommates, friends, and even a family attorney in his hometown back in Ohio,” Barnett said. “We have gotten and reviewed phone records and monitored his bank accounts. We have followed up on other leads, none of which have produced anything of substance.

And while police have found no evidence of a crime, Barnett said, “the circumstances regarding his disappearance remain unknown so detectives are not ruling out that foul play is involved.”

Stefan was described by police as a white male with balding brown hair, is five feet, eight inches tall, weighs 145 pounds, and was last seen wearing blue jeans and a gray beanie cap.

He goes by the name “Chris.”

Barnett said the missing person case “is still very much open” and asked for anyone with information about Stefan’s whereabouts to contact Detective Glenn at (762) 400-7368 or lamar.glenn@accgov.com.


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