What is Kevin Nguyen famous for, and what happened to him?

Kevin Nguyen

The disappearance of Kevin Nguyen on 8th December 2018 shook the community of Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA, and continues to make headlines years later. Aged 25 years old, he was kicked out of a local bar in the early hours of the morning; his last appearance was two hours later, when a security camera filmed him stumbling down the road with his sweatshirt hood up and without his glasses (these were later recovered from the parking lot of the bar).

At 1 A.M. that night, Kevin had texted his sister asking for a ride home. According to receipts, he purchased a slice of pizza after leaving the bar, and before being seen on camera. Despite a years-long effort from the Fort Wayne Police Department and Kevin’s loved ones, as well as dozens of interviews, searches, and leads, the perplexing case remains unsolved, and is just one of thousands of unexplained disappearances made even more complicated by its lack of concrete evidence.

Since 2018, the Nguyen family – especially his sister, Lily – have set up countless events and social media campaigns to raise awareness. The case is also being investigated by the FBI’s ViCAP program to apprehend violent offenders. In a previous interview, Lily said: ‘We won’t stop looking until we have answers. Kevin is a kind, caring person, and he deserves to be found.’

The residents of Fort Wayne have also rallied around their neighbors, with local businesses donating resources and supplies to aid the searches, and volunteers providing their help wherever possible. Kevin, who was born on 4th October 1993, is 6ft (183cm) tall and weighs between 170lbs (75kgs). His mysterious disappearance has been discussed in the “MurdNerds” podcast and “Going West: True Crime” podcast, and hundreds of internet users have also given their opinion on what they think really happened to the Indiana native.

Theories

Many netizens who are interested in missing persons cases have analyzed Kevin’s behavior, prior to him being asked to leave the Brass Rail bar. According to anonymous sources, Kevin was asked to leave by staff multiple times that night due to his drunken behavior, and him allegedly following a woman into the restroom despite not being invited to.

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Although staff offered Kevin an Uber ride, they forcibly removed him from the premises after he kept sneaking into the bar, even using the back entrance after leaving the first time. Kevin then wandered off without being followed by anyone (that we know of).

The conclusion that many netizens have come to is that Kevin drunkenly stumbled into one of Fort Wayne’s three rivers – the St. Marys, the St. Joseph, or the Maumee. Drowning victims are usually found in rivers or shallow lakes within two to three days, depending on several factors which include the type of body of water, the environmental conditions (such as the temperature and flow pattern of the water), and how long it takes for the dive team to begin their search.

Unfortunately, if someone drowns in a deeper body of water, they could also sink deeper or be carried further downriver than anticipated. According to one report, the Fort Wayne police didn’t send any dive teams until five days after Kevin was declared missing.

It’s also been said that the Nguyen family ‘refused’ to listen to people who interacted with Kevin that night. According to a sober patron who witnessed his behavior inside the bar, Kevin was last seen outside of Arby’s, around the corner from the bar. Netizens who closely follow the case also claim that it was never officially confirmed whether the glasses found in the parking lot belonged to Kevin, as they were a common style.

Another theory is that Kevin was the victim of a racist attack, after being kicked out of the Brass Rail. However, this seems unlikely, as at the time, the bar had a reputation for being a welcoming place patronized by people from all demographics. Neither was it Kevin’s first time at the bar, as he had reportedly gone to the Brass Rail on several occasions, and never had a problem there before.

2023

The last time the Nguyen family was in the press was December 2022, commemorating the fourth anniversary of their son’s disappearance. Kevin’s father, Lance Yankey, was out of state when he heard that Kevin hadn’t returned from his night out, and thought that his son had passed out in his car after having too much to drink. He also added that it took Fort Wayne police a whole week to go to the Brass Rail and start asking questions about Kevin.

Lance clearly harbors negative feelings towards the staff at Brass Rail – indeed, the whole Nguyen family has been accused of acting negatively towards the bar workers and anyone else who was there on the night of Kevin’s disappearance – as he said: ‘That is the biggest pet peeve. That they wouldn’t say nothing… They enjoy their holidays every year, but I don’t. My wife doesn’t. It’s a hard period.’

Lance also expressed his dismay at not hearing from the missing persons department since 2019. However, he did share in an interview that he often receives anonymous messages or tips, and that he and a group of friends have searched within a 20 mile radius of Fort Wayne looking for Kevin. Lastly, he thanked everyone who has been supportive on social media, and those who show up to the candlelight vigils the family have set up.

Many feel that it’s unlikely that there was any foul play in Kevin’s disappearance. As of November 2023, there are only six active missing persons cases in Fort Wayne, with the oldest one dating back three decades. As the fifth anniversary of Kevin’s disappearance looms, the Nguyen family still fights to keep his memory alive and hold out hope that he’ll be found.

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