Disappeared The Sweetest Man in the World
- Aired October 26, 2022, on Investigation Discovery
- Season 10 Episode 7
In December 2017, Brian stops responding to his mother Kathy’s texts. She decides to file a missing person’s report and Det. Massucci finds himself untangling a complicated love triangle involving Brian, which leaves him with more questions than answers.Investigation Discovery
Life of Brian
The episodes opens with his mother Kathy, who honestly has the best head of hair. It’s so thick. Mine is so fine that I have always wanted extensions. That’s not what this blog is about though.
Kathy last spoke to her son Brian Klecha when he texted her to ask about his Christmas money that she had sent to his bank account. She never spoke to him again. Brian was an only child and a very generous person by all accounts.
His friend Nate confirms this. He and Brian met at a gay bar and they became fast friends. Nate says that Brian loved to go on adventures. He would sometimes bring Nate along. I personally prefer nonadventure but I’m an introverted agoraphobic with social anxiety, but I’m happy for Brian and Nate.
Brian was very soft spoken and loved his two cats who he called his fur babies. Same, Brian, same. Here’s a picture of my cat to hopefully make this horrible story of a likely murder more palatable.
I haven’t mentioned it yet, but Brian was gay. But he was very private especially about his sexuality. It’s totally understandable how scary it can be to be out. I have a very good gay friend, and once someone yelled the anti-gay F slur at us as we walked past a bar. I live in Alabama, so I know how hostile the world still is toward the LGBTQ community despite the progress we have made in our lifetime.
Brian was last seen on December 26, 2017, and he had just moved into a new home with three roommates only a couple of weeks before that. We meet Andrew Dowler, the owner of the home, who had only met Brian literally 11 days before his disappearance.
Andrew agreed to rent out a room in his home to Brian based on what another of his tenants told him about Brian. This roommates name is AJ. Brian and AJ both used the term boyfriend to describe the other to Andrew, but Andrew says that AJ was more guarded about using that term than Brian.
Adding to this weird dynamic is the fact that AJ also convinced Andrew to allow another of his boyfriends, Dillon, to move into the home. Brian had turned out to be a great roommate, so Andrew agreed. Brian didn’t like Dillon being in the home. The main issue in Brian and AJ’s relationship was that Brian wanted to be monogamous an AJ didn’t.
Just the facts
Andrew went on vacation, and when he returned Brian was gone. But his cats were still at the house, which everyone agrees is something that Brian would definitely not do. Brian had moved in so recently that he didn’t even have Brian’s number to check on him.
Brian’s mother became worried after not hearing from Brian, so she called his work to see if he had been in. She didn’t get any information. Meanwhile, Nate thought that maybe Brian had become involved with someone new until Brian’s mom contacted him to ask about Brian’s location.
In March 2018, a missing person’s report was finally filed. They say the first 48 hours after a crime are the most critical to solving it. Three months can’t be good for the investigation. The case eventually ends up with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Agent Chuck Massucci.
Chuck tells us the biggest problem in the investigation was that no one really knew where Brian had vanished from. Except the person responsible if there is foul play involved. Kathy made fliers with Brian’s info and did the best thing I think she could for the investigation: she made a Facebook page asking for tips on Brian’s whereabouts.
Nate did what I honestly think was a great idea and started matching with men on dating apps to see if they had seen Brian. It’s genius and I can’t believe that thought had never occurred to me. But no clues came from that sadly.
In April 2018, investigators receive the last known footage of Brian. On December 27, 2017, Brian made a $200 withdrawal at his bank. Kathy tells us that is the Christmas money she sent him and my heart broke.
Andrew allows police to search Brian’s bedroom. Detective Massucci scanned the room with luminol and found several blood samples. However, the room had never been treated as a crime scene and many people had been in the room, so the DNA was useless.
AJ (I couldn’t think of a clever pun)
Look. I don’t know if AJ killed Brian (it is my opinion that he was involved), but there’s no denying he’s a garbage person. Not long after Brian’s disappearance, AJ started renting Brian’s car out for cash. I’m wondering why the police don’t have the car, but idk.
Social media was swirling with rumors about AJ’s involvement. We meet Ryan Williams who is an editor at Watermark, a publication that focused on LGBTQ news in Tampa. Ryan tells us that he too was receiving those tips but he couldn’t confirm any of them. I think it’s important to note that the LGBTG community is tight-knit. So if people said it was AJ, I’m inclined to believe them.
Police had a hard time tracking AJ down to interview him. AJ had a criminal record consisting mostly of drug charges, and Detective Massucci believes he may have been selling drugs. Andrew says that there were always drugs at the house.
But Nate says that Brian didn’t do drugs and that Brian may have thought he could save AJ somehow. Nate also tells us that AJ took advantage of Brian. Sometimes AJ would steal money from Brian’s wallet.
Once police finally interviewed AJ, he said that his relationship with Brian wasn’t even on both sides. Brian was way more into AJ than AJ was into Brian. AJ says he argued with Brian on December 27, 2017, while no one else was home (convenient) and that Brian left. That was the last time AJ says he saw Brian.
AJ actually gave Brian’s car away and had been found with some of Brian’s possessions. AJ said that Brian wanted him to have those things.
Our friend Detective Massucci says you can’t call AJ a liar, but you can’t call him a truth-teller either. What he actually says is that he believed that AJ was being untruthful, which only made him more suspicious of AJ.
Cold as Alaska
By 2018, the reward for information on Brian was raised from $5,000 to $10,000.
In 2019 police received tips that Brian had been buried under concrete and given locations. These areas were searched by cadaver dogs, but nothing was found. The dogs were still good boys though (or girls, idk).
Then in 2021 a body was found that matched the general physical description of Brian. But it’s Disappeared, so I already know it’s not Brian. And I’m right. Nate jokes that bodies are always being found in Florida and that made me laugh.
Brian’s mother has kept the case alive online. The more eyes on it, the better. Reporter Ryan wonders if the case would have gotten more coverage if Brian weren’t gay or lower middle class. I’m left wondering the same.
And AJ moved to Puerto Rico. Bummer.
I really enjoyed this episode. This is the second one in a row that featured the story of a member of the LGBTQ community, which is great. They may not get all the coverage they deserve, but it’s a start.
And what do I think happened? It is my opinion that AJ murdered Brian. What was the motive? Could be money. Could be he was tired of living with Brian. Could be that AJ wanted to just be rid of Brian who was a nuisance to him.
Tell me what you thought in the comments below.
**As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.** Please see my Disclaimer.