Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The Disappearance and Death of Ethan Kazmerzak

Ethan Kazmerzak was only 22 years old when he vanished during the early morning hours of September 15th, 2013. He was last seen in Hampton, Iowa. On the evening of September 14th, Ethan was seen at a few different local pubs in the Hampton area. He later went to a party at a gravel pit pond located behind a house on 190th Street. Around 12:15am, Ethan called his mother and told her that he was on his way home. He never made it there, and was never seen or heard from again.

Ethan's vehicle vanished with him. Due to this, many theorized that Ethan might have driven his car into a body of water located in the rural area near the party. A pond near Olive Avenue was searched just days after Ethan's disappearance, but nothing was found. Divers returned to that same pond in November 2013 and still did not spot any evidence. Eventually, investigators began to separate from the that theory. In fact, during September 2019, reporters asked Hampton police Chief Bob Schaefer what he thought about the theory that Ethan had driven into water--to which he replied, "Based on what I know of that night, I don't think so."

Throughout the investigation into Ethan's disappearance, detectives chased many leads and conducted many interviews. Still, no trace of Ethan was found. Then, in October 2020, scuba diver and YouTuber Jason Leisek went diving into the pond near Olive Avenue--where searches for Ethan had previously taken place. During his dive, Leisek spotted a vehicle. The car was located about 90 feet from the edge of the water, and only approximately 8 feet from the pond's surface. All the windows on the vehicle were rolled up, but the front windshield was missing. Once the car was removed from the water, investigators discovered human remains inside. Police later announced that those remains were that of Ethan Kazmerzak.

It's unclear why the vehicle was not spotted during the professional investigative searches that occurred years earlier. The car was found relatively close to the pond's surface and was reportedly very easy for Leisek to spot. Due to this, some have theorized that the vehicle somehow entered the pond at some point after those 2013 searches were conducted. This has not been confirmed and the investigation is still ongoing. 

Investigators are encouraging anyone with information about Ethan's disappearance and death to come forward. If you have any information that could help solve the case, please go here to submit an anonymous tip. 

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