It's been three months since David Riemens vanished from Watertown without a trace. The Wilson County Sheriff's Department and his friends and family are keeping up the search despite the lack of clues.
The Sheriff's Department Crime Stoppers program has also offered a $1,000 reward for information about his disappearance, and his friends in Watertown have offered a private reward. But no clues have been generated.
Riemens, 60, an artist and stone mason from Watertown, disappeared Aug. 8, shortly after noon when he went to meet a man about a job.
In October, David's brother, Jim Riemens made his third trip to Wilson County from his home in Michigan, but had to leave again disappointed.
The working theory is that Riemens was asked to look at a job site where he might be hired to do stone work for a construction project. His friends and family suspect Riemens got into another vehicle at the Watertown Dollar General and left with another person or persons. A search dog seemed to confirm this theory when it picked up Riemens' scent in the driver's seat of his vehicle. The dog followed it 8 feet away where it faded, leading searchers to think Riemens got into another vehicle.
Dr. Donald Nuessle and his wife, Laura, are leading the efforts to find their friend, who was living in a house on their property at the time of his disappearance.
The doctor has been taking part in the search himself looking for a foundation near a big barn, which was how Reimens described the construction site to him before his disappearance. He has been paying for the gas for planes supplied by volunteer pilots and has not only looked in Wilson County, but also in Cannon, Rutherford, Smith and DeKalb counties as well.
His friends and family have a Facebook page "David Riemens is Missing" that is constantly updated about the case and has information about how the public can contribute to the fund set up to aid in the search for Riemens.
Laura Nuessle said the lack of clues is baffling for law enforcement and for Riemens' friends.
"I can't believe three months have gone by and we're no better off than the day after he went missing," she said. "There's not a single clue. You'd think there'd be something, even the detective is frustrated. We've had a few times we thought we had a lead, but none of them have panned out."
If he was in a car accident, his friend thinks the changing season may reveal something or hunters in the woods might find some trace of him.
"We're hoping that now that the leaves are down, if there was a wreck, he might be spotted," she said. "We've talked to the coon hunters and I think it's time to put up more posters at Lebanon Airport to remind pilots to be on the lookout."
The problem with that theory is that if he got into a vehicle with someone else to go to a job site, why has no one else been reported missing? If the hidden car wreck scenario is wrong, that only leaves foul play or the notion that he left for some reason, an idea his friends find far fetched. Regardless of what happened, his friends are not giving up.
"He's been with us as long as we've owned this farm," Nuessle said. "I've known him for 20 years, and he's always been a part of my life."
At this point, she feels anything is better than not knowing what happened.
"Finding out anything would be good," she said. "If there was just something."
His desperate friends have even consulted psychic Carole Kennedy, who has come up with a search area, but one Nuessle said it's too big to be searched by dogs.
Anyone who saw David at the store, in a vehicle that day or who has any idea who he was meeting, is asked to call the Wilson County Sheriff's Department at 615-444-1459, Crime Stoppers at 615-444-5245, Watertown police at 615-237-3326 or a hotline at 615-237-9099. Callers to Crime Stoppers will remain anonymous.
"Just some kind of closure would be so good," Nuessle said. "To have something happen in a town like Watertown, which is the equivalent of Mayberry, it's just strange."
Staff writer Mary Hinds may be reached at 444-3952, ext. 45 or firstname.lastname@example.org.