Kyle Andrew Carl Eppler
Missing since July 28, 1999 from Naples, Collier County, Florida
Classification: Endangered Missing
Circumstances of Disappearance
On July 28 around 11 a.m., Eppler, a 1997 Lely High graduate, went to see his mother at Germain Honda BMW, where she worked, in East Naples. He borrowed $20 for gas, said he was going to see his girlfriend and then head to work at 4:30 p.m. at the Grouper House, where he worked as a waiter.
He never visited his girlfriend and he never dropped off his mother's dry cleaning, an errand she had asked him to do. He left a note reading, "Gone to find my river and myself."
The day after he disappeared, his mother filed a missing persons report with the Collier County Sheriff's Office.
He was driving a 1988 Toyota Camry, that was later found abandoned at the Coastal Prairie Trail in Flamingo, Monroe County, Florida. The Everglades National Park receipt in his car was dated July 28.
A search of the car turned up some camping gear, a framed back pack, a duffel bag full of clothes, a jar of peanut butter, some crackers and a few journals, hinting that he may have planned the trip. Kyle had talked about going to the Fakahatchee Strand and the Everglades. He liked traveling and meeting new people. He'd gone on several trips to New Orleans, Texas and North Carolina when he was attending Santa Fe College in Gainesville, studying zoology. He volunteered at Animal Control, the Humane Society and during his college years, worked at several snake farms in the Gainesville area.
Kyle's mother checked his room for hiking boots and found at least a pair missing from home. A navy hat with a white star on it that he always wore was also missing.
His shirt was found about three miles along the trail in the Everglades National Park.
He was on medication but did not take it with him.
Investigators Collier County Sheriff's Department
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Detective Harold Minch
Collier County Sheriff's Department
Agency Case Number: 99-84076N
NCIC Number: M-730037427 Source Information: Return to the Unexplained Disappearances' Index
Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.
Child Protection Education of America
Return to the Unexplained Disappearances' Index