Overview of Andrea Knabel
A volunteer to help find missing people…goes missing herself.
Andrea Michelle Knabel (pronounced kuh-nay-bel) was a 37-year-old mother of two when she vanished. Andrea was an active member of Missing In America, a group that focuses on finding missing people in the Louisville area. Her family says she had a giant heart, and was always willing to help others. They also say she loved her children deeply while being an amazing daughter, sister, mother, and friend.
Before going missing, Andrea had fallen on hard times.
She was laid off from her job at Humana, and then got into a hit-and-run car accident, leaving her without a vehicle. During this time, Andrea was still living in her home, she had a roommate and was working different jobs. It was when her roommate moved out, that Andrea moved in with her mother at the start of the summer in 2019.
At this time, Cheryl’s home was undergoing bathroom renovations; however, Cheryl was not living at the home during the construction. Sarah and Ethan were the ones helping with the renovations, and decided to stay at the home because they lived over an hour away in Lexington, Kentucky. According to Andrea’s other sister, Erin, Cheryl would stop over every evening to have dinner with everyone and check in on the construction progress. Andrea and her boys, Sarah and her fiance, Ethan were the ones living in the home.
The day Andrea went missing. Andrea Knabel was last seen sometime between the night of August 12th, 2019, and the early morning hours of August 13, 2019.
On the evening of August 12, 2019, Cheryl brought over Chinese food. While eating, the Cheryl started a difficult conversation highlighting Andrea's recent life choices that she didn't agree with, noting specific poor choices that were "setting back Andrea's progress" to a new life. Andrea felt uncomfortable being present for the conversation, and became more upset when her sister Sarah chimed in to back up the concerns.
Andrea was visibly upset with her family, and she excused herself from dinner.
After things settled down, Andrea went to McDonald's with her nephew and sister's fiance, Ethan. After McDonald's, Ethan brought Andrea to the Kentucky One Medical Center for treatment from a face rash around 9:50 p.m. By 11:22 p.m., she was released from the hospital and took a Lyft back to her mother's house returning at 11:34 p.m. Andrea was given a Lyft gift card, but it wasn’t working so Andrea had to use her own money.
Andrea couldn’t get into the home because she didn’t have a key. By midnight, now August 13th, she walked to her other sister, Erin's home, located approximately a mile and a half away. Andrea took a short cut near a walking bridge.
Upon arriving at Erin's home, it was clear that Andrea was still visibly upset regarding the recent fight between Sarah, Ethan, and their mom earlier that evening. Andrea said she felt ganged up on. Erin tried to console her sister and drove her back to their mom's house, hoping the situation would’ve blown over.
On August 13 at 1:34 am, Despite being driven over by Erin, Andrea still did not have a key to the home and couldn't get in. Sarah and Ethan were inside sleeping, so they never answered the door. This prompted Andrea to walk back to Erin's house, a second time.
When Andrea arrived and asked Erin if she could sleep over, Erin said no, because she needed to set a boundary. Erin had to work the next day and her home was also also under renovation so her children were sleeping downstairs during this time. This added to Erin’s reasoning for not wanting to let Andrea stay over. After having the difficult conversation, Erin recalls looking out her window and seeing Andrea scrolling on her phone outside and that her temperament seemed more composed.
Andrea left Erin's home for the final time and returned back to her mom's house on foot at 1:34 a.m. on August 13th. Per Andrea's cell phone data, she arrived back at her mother's home by 1:54 a.m.
It was assumed that she was not let into the home because Sarah and Ethan were sleeping. But, when the pair were reinterviewed later by police, they told investigators that they were awake but didn't let her in because they feared Andrea being too upset from the tense dinner conversation.
Even hours later, Andrea's cell phone was still active at 3:51 a.m. pinging around her mother's house. This is the last known activity that proved Andrea was alive and near the house.
By the morning, Andrea had vanished.
Andrea was last seen wearing a light-colored tank top, white shorts, and light-colored Nike shoes. During this time the family started to shine on a light on Andrea’s disappearance through social and local media.
There have been alleged sightings in the Clarksonville, Jeffersonville and New Albany, Indiana areas around October of 2019.
On November 27, 2019, Andrea's family noticed a gold Chevy Impala believed to be a 2004 or 2005 model with license plate 637-ZLA was repeatedly seen driving past Erin's home. The windows were tinted, but they could see "a thin white male was driving" and a "thin white woman was in the passenger seat." When authorities ran the plates, they came back as stolen, but they have not recovered the car. This incident has alarmed the Knabel family because they fear Andrea fell victim to human trafficking.
Today, Andrea's case is still unsolved. In 2021, the Discovery channel released a four-part docu-series called "Finding Andrea'' which has brought more attention to the case. Andrea is described as 5'7", and weighs approximately 180 pounds, with brown hair, and hazel eyes. Her ears are pierced, and she may have scarring on her face. Erin, Andrea’s sister, and her father, Michael, are still actively advocating for Andrea and conduct frequent searches.
If you have any information, please contact Louisville Metro Police Department: Missing Persons Division 502-574-7120. There is a $10,000 reward.