The key to solving the disappearance of single Louisville, Kentucky mother Andrea Knabel could lie with Finding Andrea, a new four-part docuseries on discovery+ debuting Oct. 15. Ahead of the premiere, Knabel's friend and Missing in America founder Nancy Schaefer and her partner, retired Denver homicide detective Joe Fanciulli, shared with PopCulture.com their hopes to learn the truth about what happened to Knabel on August 13, 2019.
Knabel was a volunteer with Missing in America before her own disappearance and was a talented investigator as well as a "fun-loving person" and wonderful mother, Schaefer remembered. So when she went missing one night after last being seen in the early morning hours outside her mother's house, where she was living, Knabel was "in complete shock."
More than two years since Knabel's disappearance, the discovery+ documentary promises a fresh investigation and new evidence to suggest the Missing in America volunteer's disappearance could possibly be tied to her own investigations. Fanciulli told PopCulture that while there are no "hot leads" at this point, he's hopeful that the truth of what happened to Knabel isn't far from being uncovered.
"My gut feeling is that something happened that night beginning when Andrea was outside her mother's house trying to get in," he theorized. "My fear is she may have reached out to the wrong person for help and it may have led to where we are today."
Going through the trauma of unpacking Knabel's disappearance is always difficult for those who loved her, but Fanciulli believes drawing more attention to the case can only help with a breakthrough. "My thought, my hope is there is a person or people out there who have direct knowledge of what happened that night," he said, hoping for someone with that "small piece of the puzzle that will help us put the larger piece of the puzzle together."
Fanciulli believes there are people out there who know the truth but won't talk to investigators due to fear — although "in fear of what or in fear of who they won't say." Finding Andrea will hopefully put the pressure on them, or Schaefer hopes, "hit someone's conscience" to come forward. "It's OK to be scared," Schaefer would tell that person. "Being scared means you're about to do something brave."
Finding Andrea debuts on discovery+ on Oct. 15. Anyone with information into Knabel's disappearance can contact the Louisville Metro Detective Bill Clark or the department's anonymous tip line at 502-574-LMPD. A second anonymous tipline can be reached via 855-746-0846 — and Schaefer encourages people to leave their information on both tip lines.