Louisville Courier Journal
Published 5:55 PM EST Nov 29, 2019
Loved ones and investigators searching for Andrea Knabel, a Louisville mother missing since August, are asking the public to watch for a car that may be connected to the missing woman's case.
Mike Knabel, Andrea's father, told The Courier Journal that he was with his daughter Erin at her home Wednesday on Fincastle Road when they noticed a gold Chevy Impala driving up and down the street and "stalking" Erin's house.
The father and daughter were also with a Louisville Metro Police detective at the time who was taking swabs of their DNA to use for testing in case any human remains are found during the investigation, Mike Knabel said.
The detective did "not seem too worried" about the vehicle and eventually left the home after the DNA swabs were collected, Mike Knabel said.
A Louisville Metro Police spokeswoman told The Courier Journal that LMPD "does not confirm, deny or release details regarding open and ongoing investigations."
The Chevy Impala, believed to be a 2004 or 2005 model, also stopped near the home, and two people inside of the car appeared to be watching the house, Mike Knabel said.
Private investigator Tracy Leonard, who has helped search for Andrea Knabel, said a "thin white male was driving" and a "thin white woman was in the passenger seat."
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Mike Knabel said the vehicle's windows were tinted, making it hard to see anything else inside.
When Mike Knabel went outside to approach the vehicle, he said it sped off.
So he got in his own car to follow the Chevy Impala and was able to take down its license plate number before losing sight of the vehicle.
Mike Knabel said he reported the license plate number to Louisville police, who told him the plate showed up as stolen.
Mike Knabel said he heard that police have not found the Chevy Impala.
"We've had gawkers before, but this was different," Mike Knabel said. "… It seems to me like the vehicle should have been identified and found quickly by officers. I don't really get it."
Leonard said the two occupants inside the vehicle "need to be questioned at the least" in the disappearance of Andrea Knabel, a 37-year-old single mother of two boys who vanished Aug. 13.
Andrea had gotten into an argument at Erin's house in the 4000 block of Fincastle Road in the early morning hours of Aug. 13 when she walked about a mile to her mother's home on Chickadee Road in Audubon Park, where she had been living, according to family.
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Andrea's other sister, Sarah, and Sarah's boyfriend had also been staying with Andrea at the mother's house to help renovate it, Mike Knabel previously said.
Andrea got into an argument with Sarah after arriving about 1:54 a.m. Aug. 13 and eventually vanished after leaving the Chickadee Road house, according to Mike Knabel.
Leonard said investigators have determined that Knabel's phone was still active at her home on Chickadee Road at 6:31 a.m. Aug. 13.
When Louisville police later conducted a search warrant at the Chickadee Road home, Knabel's phone was not found, according to Leonard.
A private investigative team and LMPD detectives have since interviewed numerous persons of interest, but no arrests have been made in connection with Andrea's disappearance.
Over 100 days after his daughter vanished, Mike Knabel said his family and volunteers continue to search the Louisville area and Southern Indiana for any signs of Andrea.
Possible sightings and leads have not turned up anything. A volunteer K-9 search team from Louisiana also came to Louisville to aid in the search for Andrea and may return in the coming weeks, according to investigators.
"It's very disheartening, but we haven't quit by any means at all," Mike Knabel said, adding that he spent several hours on Thanksgiving and early Friday looking for his daughter.
Mike Knabel said family and investigators plan on searching Saturday through a storage locker on Poplar Level Road that Andrea had rented to store some of her belongings before moving to her mother's place a few months ago.
"We're looking for paperwork and anything that could provide leads," Mike Knabel said.
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Authorities are also looking into a possible lead related to activity from a 401(k) account, Mike Knabel added.
Andrea's family continues to hope a breakthrough and more answers will come in her case, including from police, Mike Knabel said.
A $5,000 reward has been offered for information leading to Andrea's discovery.
"I know they are overworked incredibly so," Mike Knabel said of LMPD. "From my perspective, you feel selfish by commanding more time than you possibly deserve, but you've got to do it as a parent."
Reach Billy Kobin at [email protected] or 502-582-7030. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: courier-journal.com/subscribe.
Missing mother search
Andrea Knabel is approximately 5 feet, 7 inches tall, weighs about 190 pounds, has light brown hair and was last seen wearing a light-colored tank top, white shorts and light-colored Nike shoes.
Anyone with information on Knabel's whereabouts is asked to contact LMPD's anonymous tip line at 502-574-5673, Leonard at 502-618-9337 or [email protected] or investigator Dan Washington at 502-722-8181.
Investigators also ask anyone to call 911 if they believe they see the missing woman.