Overview of Chance Englebert
Will the results of a DNA test lead Chance Englebert’s family to answers they have been seeking for three years?
Chance Leslie Englebert was a 25-year-old husband and father who had recently taken a new job in Moorcroft, Wyoming, before he disappeared while visiting his in-laws in Gering, Nebraska on July 6, 2019.
Born on December 2, 1993, near Edgemont, South Dakota, Chance grew up on his family’s ranch in Burdock with his parents and two brothers. His mother, Dawn, says he was an athlete and a “cowboy at heart.” Chance competed in rodeo competitions in high school earning a bull riding scholarship to Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Wyoming. It was there he earned his reputation as a champion rider and a degree in welding and diesel mechanics. His interest in welding led to his love for demolition derby cars and racing.
Chance’s mother, Dawn, describes him as “... a good kid, shy and hardworking … a smart kid …” She doesn’t believe he disappeared intentionally, saying, “I never felt that Chance would leave his family.” Chance’s wife, Baylee, agrees, describing Chance as “... such a good father …” who was excited to share his passion for Demolition Derby with his son.
Just a week before Chance disappeared, he lost his job. The coal mine where he had worked as a welder laid off 600 employees. Chance knew he had to find a job quickly, so he accepted a position with a local propane company. He would start his new job, when he returned from a 4th of July visit with Baylee’s family in Gering, Nebraska.
The day Chance disappeared
Chance, his wife, Baylee, and their 3-month-old son made the 220 mile drive to visit her grandparents in Gering, Nebraska. On Saturday, July 6th, Chance went golfing with Baylee’s dad and her sister’s boyfriend. Baylee spoke with Chance while he was on the course and he seemed to be in a good mood. She said the guys were drinking and having fun together. A short time later, Chance called her back and asked her to pick him up. He said he was upset over a comment one of his golf partners made about his new job. Baylee said they didn’t argue on the way back to her grandparents’ house, but when they pulled into the driveway, Chance got out of the car and walked away. Baylee said at first she wasn’t concerned because when Chance got upset he would sometimes take a walk to cool off.
After Chance walked out of view, Baylee tried calling him and when he didn’t answer she went looking for him but she couldn’t find him. He finally picked up her call at 7:46 pm, told her he was walking south toward Kimball and hung up. Later reports from his friends indicated he had told them he was walking north toward Torrington, Wyoming. The last known person to speak with Chance was his friend Matt Miller around 8:46 pm. Chance’s aunt received a cryptic text message from him at 9:08 pm, and shortly after, his phone went dark.
A strong thunderstorm blew through Gering around 9 pm that evening. Baylee’s family speculated he may have sought shelter inside a local business or nearby building. When the storm was over, Baylee’s grandfather drove around town looking for Chance, but his search came up empty, and no one has heard from Chance since.
Surveillance footage in the video above.
It’s been 4 years since Chance was last seen in Gering, Nebraska wearing a short-sleeved button-up Wrangler shirt, dark blue jeans, a belt with a rodeo buckle, old-school Roper boots and a black-and-white trucker cap. He is 5ft 9in. tall, about 190 lbs with sun-lightened brown hair, a mustache and a goatee.
Still missing after nearly three years
When Chance didn’t return by the next morning, Baylee notified local law enforcement and, after calls from concerned family and friends, the Gering police department launched an investigation and wide-scale search. With the help of 18 specialized agencies, multiple ground, air, and water searches were conducted using drones, divers, helicopters, airplanes, cadaver, and scent dogs Over 2,400 acres were searched and the central Gering canal was drained but no sign of Chance was found.
The night he disappeared, Chance was last seen in surveillance video around 10 pm walking past local businesses near the intersection of Terry Boulevard and Stable Club Road in Terrytown, Nebraska. For months after Chance’s disappearance, there were reports of possible sightings of him in Wyoming and Nebraska, including a possible interaction with a woman at a Walmart in Casper, Wyoming. Police followed the lead and reviewed six hours of video footage from the Walmart store, but they were unable to confirm the sighting.
Where the case stands today
The lead investigator from the Gering Police Department, Brian Eads, stated that there are currently no person(s) of interest, but law enforcement continues to receive tips, and they are investigating all of them. The department has enlisted outside investigators and canine teams, executed search warrants and conducted polygraph tests. Baylee Englebert and her family have been forthcoming and thoroughly investigated, all of the family members have been interviewed and their properties have been searched by law enforcement. Both families, along with Chance’s friend Matt, have conducted multiple searches along the river, in the water, and across hundreds of acres of land, but not one of these searches has brought them closer to finding Chance.
Detective Eads acknowledged that while authorities have no evidence to indicate foul play in this case, they also have no evidence to rule it out completely.
In October 2021, a human arm bone was discovered near the North Platte River in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, which authorities originally thought could belong to Chance. Initial DNA testing efforts were unsuccessful, but the specimen was then sent to another lab and results are still pending. But because the bone was found with a piece of fabric that doesn’t match the description of Chance’s last-known clothing, authorities believe it is unlikely the remains belong to him.
In honor of his 29th birthday, Chance’s maternal grandmother, Linda Kluender, donated $200,000 to the reward fund bringing the total to $220,000. She hopes someone will come forward with new information about her grandson’s disappearance. Chance’s mom is begging the Scottsbluff and Gering community to remember Chance, saying, “Please, if you know anything, call somebody.”
Anyone with information can contact the Gering Police Department at 308-436-5088. Anonymous tips can be reported to the We Help the Missing tip line at 866-660-4025.