A teenager is found dead 5 days after going missing from a party
Afternoon: Kurt stays home from school on Friday.
Kurt skipped school on Friday, 10/23. He gets a local patron to buy him a bottle of Everclear, then he then goes to his girlfriend's house.
Sova Home (Approx. Location)
Evening: Kurt meets up with Samuel C. Carroll one block from his home, who was his way to a party.
It's unclear how Kurt and Samuel meet up, but they both head to the party at the duplex on Harvard Ave.
Person With Information / Witness
Late Night: Kurt attends a party at a duplex host by Debbie at the Harvard Ave. Duplex.
Debbie lives in a duplex less than 2 miles from where the Sovas' house. She shares the duplex with her brother Clayton, and roommate Misi.
Harvard Avenue Duplex
Late Night: Kurt becomes ill from drugs and alcohol, so Samuel takes him outside.
While at the party, Kurt becomes sick and/or disruptive. This could be from the high level of alcohol he was drinking, considering everyone at the party was drinking Everclear. Other people at the party say that Kurt was seen knocking things over — either because he couldn't hold himself upright, or because he was emotional over something. To calm the situation, Samuel proceeds to take Kurt outside.
Overnight: Samuel goes inside to get his and Kurt's jacket (2-3 minutes). When he returns, Kurt is gone.
It's 56 degrees outside, and Samuel and Kurt are just wearing t-shirts. Samuel leaves Kurt against a chain-link fence. When he returns 2-3 minutes later, Kurt is gone.
"We were out there about 20 or 30 minutes and it was cold out there - we were both in T-shirts," Samuel Carroll told the media. "I then went to go and get the jackets upstairs. ... I got the jackets and went back down and he wasn't there. I was only upstairs about two or three minutes," Carroll concluded.
Overnight: Samuel searches the immediate area for Kurt
Samuel searches a nearby warehouse parking lot, very close to where Kurt's body is later found.
Samuel's statement to the police is: “I can only guess that someone he knew picked him up because it happened that fast. Someone had to pick him up in a car.”
Because of this, Samuel assumes Kurt went home, and simply goes back to the party.
Overnight: When Kurt doesn't return home Saturday morning, Dorothy and Ken begin to search for him.
According to Dorothy, Kurt's mother, Kurt rarely stayed out all night, and normally came home around 10-11pm. She also shared that Kurt would only stay out late if his parents knew where he was — which made the fact that Kurt didn't return home and didn't all incredibly out of character.
So, by Saturday morning, Kurt’s family is worried. Dorothy began calling Kurt’s friends while Ken, Kurt's father, scoured the area. He searched all of the neighborhoods and all the places he figured Kurt would be. As the day went on and no trace of Kurt was found, the family truly worried.
Parent of Victim
Early Morning: Dorothy and Ken register Kurt as a missing person.
When they continue to find no trace of Kurt, Dorothy and Ken call the police to register Kurt as a missing person.
Afternoon: Dorothy hears about the party and goes to the duplex; Misi denies the party happening and Kurt being there.
After hearing rumors about a Halloween party and Kurt being there, Dorothy goes to the duplex herself. She speaks to one of the roomates, Misi tells her there was no party, and she didn't see Kurt that night. Debbie and Clayton were not present.
Afternoon: Dorothy Learns New Information from Pizza Man
Debbie told Dorothy that more than a dozen people had been at the party. Most were older than Kurt and were people he had never met. She said Kurt had been drinking heavily, but many said Kurt was not much of a drinker. Eventually, Dorothy speaks to a pizza delivery man who verifies there was a party at the duplex. Armed with new information, Dorothy confronts Debbie again, who finally admits that there was a party and that Kurt was there — but says she saw him leave.
Afternoon: David Trusnik sees Kurt with another boy walking on the street. A van pulls up, Kurt says, "Franko" and both boys get in the van.
Three days after he disappears, David Trusnik claims to see Kurt less than a mile from the Sova home.
David Trusnik spoke to Unsolved Mysteries, saying: “I pulled over to offer Kurt a ride at this point, and a van pulled up and Kurt yelled out ‘Franko.’ They both ran over to the van and they got in. I didn’t know Kurt was missing. If I would’ve known he was missing, there would probably have been something I could’ve done. I could’ve followed the van. But I didn’t know. And two days later he was found dead. And that was the last time I saw him.”
There are theories that "Franko" refers to Craig Franko, a gas station attendant who was killed on 12/4/1981 at a nearby Sohio gas station. This is unconfirmed.
Afternoon: A homeless man makes a strange statement to a Judy Oros about Kurt's disappearance.
The homeless man hanging around the Slavic Village Record shop sees Kurt's missing flyer and says to store manager Judy Oros: “They’re going to find him and they’re gonna find him in two days, and they’re not going to know what happened to him.”
Person of Interest / Suspect
3:00pm: Dorothy and Ken receive a phone call from Debbie that Kurt is sleeping in the basement. Ken goes there, finds nothing.
Debbie calls to say someone is sleeping in her basement, and it may be Kurt. When Ken arrives, he can tell that someone had been sleeping there, but the person was gone.
Afternoon: Kurt's body is found by 3 boys in a ravine.
Kurt's body was in the ravine near JL Furniture warehouse, 500 meters from the duplex where the party was held.
Ken had just searched that ravine 24 hours before and believes Kurt was put there.
According to reports and the police's description of the scene, Kurt was found laying on his back, wearing a yellow shirt, with his arms splayed out, creating a "T" shape. Other than some scratches and bruises, the body showed no obvious sign of injury. Investigators found Kurt’s left shoe wedged in some rocks less than twelve feet away from his body. They were never able to locate his right shoe.
Location Of Kurt's Body
Afternoon: Homeless Man Leaves Flowers and Note at Record Shop
The homeless man shows back up at the record store and leaves flowers for Judy Oros with a note that says: "Roses are red, the sky is blue. They found him dead, and they’ll find you, too.” The police picked up the homeless man and spoke with him but determined he wasn't harmful. He wasn't seen again.
Overnight: Kurt's Coroner Report is Released
An autopsy was conducted by Chief Deputy Coroner Dr. Lester Adelson. They could not determine an official cause of death. Kurt's approximate time of death is based on coroners report (24-36 hrs before being found).
Dr. Lester Adelson spoke with Unsolved Mysteries, and shared his findings: "The manner of death in this particular case was signed out as probably accidental. He hadn’t been beaten in any way. He hadn’t been traumatized in any way. He didn’t have enough alcohol to end his life. He had no preexisting natural disease. And as Sherlock Holmes said, ‘You eliminate all other possibilities and that which remains is the truth.’ This was a diagnosis by exclusion."
11:35pm: Craig H. Franko is killed at a Sohio gas station by Frances E Johson.
There are theories this is the same "Franko" David Trusnik heard Kurt yell when he claims to have seen him the day before his body was discovered.
Sohio Gas Station
Afternoon: Eugene Kvet is found in a ravine 2.5 miles from where Kurt was found.
Eugene Kvet, who was familiar with Kurt, was found dead a couple of months after Kurt. Both boys had been missing a few days before being found, showed a lack of physical damage, and Eugene's right shoe was also never found.
Victim of (Potentially) Related Crime
Tiffin University Students try to Solve Kurt's Case
Thirty-eight years after Kurt's suspicious death, the Newburgh Heights police department announced a partnership with Tiffin University students with the hope that they can shed new light on Kurt's life and final days. The criminal justice students will work with a professor to analyze evidence from the case.
CrimeCon Crowdsolve Looks at Kurt's Case
Hundreds of true crime fans and citizen detectives gathered together with law enforcement, criminal experts, and the Sova family in Chicago to try and help move the needle further for Kurt's case.
Cleaveland19 Starts True Crime Podcast
After Kurt Sova's case is reopened the Cleaveland 19 News Investigative Team starts a true crime podcast that features Kurt's case.
Newburgh Heights, OH
The house where Kurt Sova lived with his parents.