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One week after 22-year-old Olathe man vanishes, relatives still have no clues

Updated: 2013-10-28T03:29:01Z


The Kansas City Star

Friends and relatives of Brad Cook have considered every possible explanation for his disappearance one week ago.

But none seems to fit.

Cook, 22, left the home he shared with his sister in Olathe about 10:10 p.m. Oct. 20 without his cellphone and wallet. About 10 minutes later, someone, possibly Cook, pulled his motorcycle into a strip mall parking lot in De Soto and left it there unlocked. Cook hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

Cook, an Eagle Scout, worked for a construction cleanup company by day and attended business classes at Johnson County Community College at night.

“This is so abnormal for him,” said Jeff Cook, Brad’s father. “Each day we are worrying more, realizing that the odds probably aren’t working in our favor.”

Brad Cook called his father Oct. 20 to see if he wanted to go to breakfast. They rode their Harley-Davidson motorcycles to a Bonner Springs restaurant and spent the day riding around. He texted his father at about 6:30 p.m. when he arrived home.

After going out with friends, Brad Cook returned home at about 9:30 p.m. and again texted his father. Brad Cook also talked to his girlfriend, and everything seemed fine.

About 10:10 p.m., his sister heard his motorcycle drive away. She checked his room and noticed his cellphone and wallet. The phone didn’t show any recent calls or texts summoning him anywhere, Jeff Cook said.

When he didn’t return, relatives looked for him, and at about 1 a.m. Oct. 21, found his custom motorcycle near a motorcycle shop and tavern. Video footage showed he did not enter the tavern.

Investigators and volunteers in a helicopter, on horseback, in a kayak and on foot have searched the area near where his motorcycle was found. Specially trained dogs have also scoured the area but didn’t turn up a single piece of evidence.

Brad Cook wasn’t depressed, and none of his guns is missing. His bank shows no financial activity.

“It’s like I have a 200-piece jigsaw puzzle in front of me, and I can’t even find two pieces to put together,” Jeff Cook said. “We’re just distraught. We don’t know what to do next.”

To reach Christine Vendel, call 816-234-4438 or email

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