The case first gained traction on an episode of Unsolved Mysteries.
Project Astral has assembled all evidence in this article & our follow up article.
On the misty night of October 23rd, 1981, a 17-year-old went missing in the small town of Newburgh Heights, Ohio. What happened next is a complete mystery composed of eyewitness accounts, theories, and a botched investigation by a corrupt detective.
Kurt Sova attended a party that was taking place a few blocks from his house on the 23rd of October, his friend (Samuel C. Carroll) came along. This party was at the home of Susan and her brother, Clayton. Kurt became disruptive as his alcohol consumption became a problem and caused him to become sick.
Samuel accompanied Kurt outside for a breather. Kurt sported a yellow shirt that night. The temperature was a chilly 56 degrees, this tempted Samuel to go back into the house to grab their jackets. After a brief trip inside (2 or 3 minutes), Samuel arrived back to the scenario of a missing Kurt.
Samuel searched the nearby streets and a parking lot connected to J.L. Goodman Furniture Inc. warehouse, (this location not being far from the location where Kurt was eventually found). After no luck in locating Kurt, he assumed Kurt had walked home, Samuel went back to the party.
The next day (Saturday) Dorthy and Ken Sova (Kurt’s parents) became worried and started to roam the streets looking for his whereabouts. Two nights passed before the official search took action. On Sunday Dorthy questioned Susan about the party, she denied any knowledge and claimed to not have seen Kurt that night.
A further investigation proved her wrong as a local pizza delivery worker provided proof of the party and Kurt’s attendance. Dorthy and Ken were certain on this information, they went to the house and found Kurt’s jacket, they were then ordered by the Police Chief James F. Lukas to cease any attempts to visit the house, notifying them that any further progression of their efforts would result in harassment. Missing posters went up around the town, and up to 50+ volunteers participated in the search.
Monday brought a series of odd events. Slavic Village Records, a hip and stylish place that engulfed the essence of the early 80’s, this is the occurrence of the ‘Crazy.’ A homeless man who had been hanging around the record store had been a fixture outside for a few weeks, bragging of access to bodies flown into Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
He bragged about stealing the shoes from the bodies. On this Monday, he finally came into the store and pointed to a flier of Kurt taped to the window. He stated “They’re going to find him and they’re gonna find him in two days, and they’re not going to know what happened to him,” this coming from a statement from Judy Oros, manager of the store.
Tuesday morning, Dorthy received a phone call from Susan that Kurt was sleeping on a cot in the basement her house. Ken Sova kicked in the door but found no Kurt, only an empty cot. The frenzy of false clues and constant defiance from eye witnesses made the search into a living hell.
Wednesday, around 5:30 p.m., three local kids found the body of Kurt Sova in a ravine near the J.L. Furniture Warehouse (Ken Sova had searched this very same area 24 hours earlier). His body was positioned on the ground in a Christ-like crucifixion. Both shoes were missing, his left shoe was eventually found twelve feet away from Kurt’s body. Kurt had a bruise on his cheek and numerous bruises on his shins. A few abrasions were found on his flesh. No bullet holes, knife wounds, needle punctures or internal injuries existed.
Thursday morning, the homeless man appeared back at the record store. Judy isn’t at work yet, the man instructed a nearby merchant to give a bouquet of flowers to her. There was an accompanying note that read “Roses are red, the sky is blue. They found him dead, and they’ll find you, too.” The police picked the man up and questioned him, finding him to be of no harm, they released him. He was never seen from again.
David Trunsnik, one of Kurt’s close friends, came forward and claimed to have seen Kurt three days after he had disappeared, less than a mile from Kurt’s house. David witnessed Kurt walking with another individual, as he gained ground on the distance between the two of them walking — David saw a van pull up, and Kurt yell out “Franko!” Kurt entered the van and was never seen again.
The investigation did get a new lead, a local by the name of Angeline Reddicks stated she saw two males dragging what looked like to be an unconscious teenage male toward the ravine. This account was never given to the Sova family and only came to their attention when they ran into Angeline and sparked a conversation. She gave this statement to the sheriff’s department in 1989 but never heard back. She stated “I seen them taking a boy down the alley. It was just before Halloween,” said Reddicks, who said she witnessed the scene one afternoon from a window in her house on Washington Park Blvd. “One foot was barefoot. I’m almost sure it was the right one. I figured – “Couple teenagers with a couple beers too many and they’re probably trying to sober up.”
The investigation has been called a “joke” and is tainted by former Detective Robert Carras and Police Chief Lukas. Carras pleaded guilty to striking Eric Kotonski of Newburgh Heights with a flashlight during a drunken driving arrest in December 1990; kicking John Rogers of Cleveland as Rogers lay handcuffed after a February 1989 abduction and harassment arrest; pulling Larry Villanueva’s hair during questioning about a February 1989 break-in; and striking Donal Geib across the face during the same interrogation. Carras was also convicted on drug and corruption charges. Newburgh Police Chief Lukas falsified documents for a police dispatcher and was found to have a criminal history, including a conviction for dereliction of duty.
The below statement is from the Associated Press:
“CLEVELAND (AP) _ A former police officer serving a 4 1/2 year prison term on drug charges pleaded guilty Monday to mistreating suspects.
Robert Carras, 41, of suburban Newburgh Heights originally pleaded innocent to five federal charges of kicking, hitting and pulling the hair of suspects.
Carras pleaded guilty to the charges before U.S. District Court Judge Thomas D. Lambros, who sentenced him to a 51-month term concurrent with his drug sentence.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Clarence Taylor said Carras changed his plea in exchange for the concurrent term.
The former police officer was charged with brutalizing suspects in four separate incidents.
Carras pleaded guilty to striking Eric Kotonski of Newburgh Heights with a flashlight during a drunken driving arrest in December 1990; kicking John Rogers of Cleveland as Rogers lay handcuffed after a February 1989 abduction and harassment arrest; pulling Larry Villanueva’s hair during questioning about a February 1989 break-in; and striking Donal Geib across the face during the same interrogation.
He also pleaded guilty to handcuffing a Cleveland taxi driver, James Stipetich, to a hot radiator after a confrontation.
Carras was convicted in December 1990 of 76 counts of aggravated drug trafficking and 76 counts of illegal processing of drug documents. Carras was convicted of forging prescriptions for Percocet, an addictive painkiller.
Carras was fired in January.”
Kurt’s autopsy was performed by Lester Adelson, Chief Deputy Coroner of Cuyahoga county. The autopsy determined Kurt had been dead 24-36 hours before his body was found, meaning he was alive for at least three days after leaving the party. The coroner could not determine an official cause of death. Kurt Sova had no preexisting medical conditions, no drugs were found in the autopsy and he didn’t have enough alcohol in his system to kill him. Deputy Coroner Adelson cites this as “Diagnosis by exclusion”.
January 1982 — Eugene Kvet is found dead under similar circumstances to Kurt Sova’s death and disappearance. His shoe was missing, and he was also found in the ravine; Eugene (14) was around the same age as Kurt.
What are the circumstances revolving Eugene’s vanishing and murder? What color shirt was he wearing? Was any of his shoes found? What other elements pertain to the Kurt Sova Death? These questions are presented within Project Astral.
We give four viewpoints told through four different scenarios. Now understand, some of these are logical, and some are not. THESE ARE FICTIONAL ACCOUNTS MIXED WITH FACTIONAL INFORMATION.
David Trunsnik witnessed what he thought was Kurt’s last appearance. Kurt got inside a van after a man named Franco appeared, and they rode off together. Kurt Sova was murdered by the Crazy and Franko.
A few months later a young male (Eugene Kvet) is walking along the ravine. The Crazy and Franco’s VW suddenly stops. These are serial killers who traveled in the 1980’s killing young boys. Removing the shoe was their MO. Eugene was their last victim in Newburgh.
Dorthy and Ken Sova
Ken Sova searched for his son and produced his own conclusion. Ken believed that his son perished at Susan’s house and was hidden and then dumped in the ravine. There were a group of older kids at the party who were known members of a local street gang called Brick City Outlawz.
Kurt consumed an unknown substance and started to go into seizures. He was carried to the basement and covered with a sheet while they argued what to do — he dies, and they cover up the overdose. They lost the shoe during transport. Eugene Kvet suffered the same fate with the unknown substance. The Crazy was revealed as a homeless nut that saw the body of Kurt and spilled the beans about it.
Clues emerged that one of the local detectives (Robert Carras) might’ve been involved, but it’s a vague whirlwind of accusations. The police investigation goes along with the overdose theory but with a twist. Kurt Sova attempted to walk home that night and Detective Carras busted him for public intoxication. Kurt is tortured for several days and then killed.
Detective Carras is found years later abusing a kid at the same ravine and is charged and sentenced to prison. The shoe was intentionally stolen by Carras; he screwed up the case and later murdered Eugene under the same MO.
The Crazy had been a known drug informant from Cleveland and had connections to the detective. David Trunsnik never saw Kurt get in a van.
This is the most unlikely perspective based on the common opinions and reasoning behind the average human’s mind-state.
It would involve the Wright-Patterson Airforce base located in Dayton Ohio, less than three hours from Newburgh Heights.
Could Paranormal activity have been a cause for the long disappearance & the placement of his body within the same area he went missing? Not only is Wright-Patterson also the founding mothership for the Air Force Research Laboratory, but it also showcases unique underground vaults, similar to what can be seen with the everlasting construction of the Denver International Airport. Ohio had over 2,907 confirmed UFO sightings in 2015, often near Wright-Patterson.
Kurt Sova lived in one of the most active UFO REGIONS IN THE WORLD.
Here are similarities to disappearances first brought-to-light by investigator David Paulides in his series Missing 411. Paulides has assembled case-loads of work dealing with missing persons in the national park system and within wooded areas. All persons who went missing were found with their shoes displaced, most had bright colored clothing and bore no bruising or scratches. Although Paulides provides no theories on the disappearances, these cases provide insight into the Sova investigation.
Rain and bad weather always took place during these vanishings, and the person often went missing for days before they were found—often in the same location, they went missing or within 2.5 miles of the initial disappearance. Either dead or alive.
A recent article on Unknowncountry.com presented a case of vanishings. A man by the name of Alan Lamers claims that in the jungles of Indonesia, locals warn of abductions that take place if they wore certain tints including YELLOW and other bright colors (when and if they were found). Some are returned alive, but with no memory of the events.
The Kurt Sova case resembles all qualities of the missing-persons mentioned by Paulides.
- Rain/fog (inclement weather) took place on the day he disappeared and the following days (washing away any evidence and hindering the search)
- Kurt was wearing a yellow shirt when he disappeared. (bright color clothing)
- Both shoes were missing, his feet were not bruised or showed signs of walking without shoes.
- The ravine was searched several times, but his body was found in the ravine after the search had stopped (similar to the details presented below)
- Kurt’s body was found within miles of where he disappeared.
October 23rd, 1971 – Rain
October 24th – Clear
October 25th – Clear
October 26th – Fog
October 27th – Fog
DATE OF BODY FOUND: October, 28th, 1981.
This was a NEW MOON phase. The weather was clear and had a temp of 54 degrees.
Location: Pepper Pike, Ohio
Located 15 minutes from where Kurt disappeared and took place exactly a year before his body was found.
A man and his sister were taking a walk, they were approached by a disc shaped saucer, flying from the northeastern sky. It was a black metallic saucer shaped disk with bright lights directly in the center. It made no sound.
Location: Painesville, Ohio
Date: 1981 (Possibly October or surrounding months)
Located 25 minutes from where Kurt disappeared.
A man sees a triangular object around 2 stories tall. The conditions of the weather were clear. There was no sound, he sees it over Lake Erie.
Location: Rock Creek, Ohio
Date: October 1981
Located less than an hour from where Kurt disappeared.
Three young witnesses were in an isolated area watching out for strange phenomena, when they noticed a huge black form step out of the wood line onto the abandoned railroad tracks, about 20 feet away. The creature started coming towards them at a fast rate of speed. Frightened they all ran back to the house not wanting to stay around. Peculiar footprints were found at the site.
*And let’s not ignore the mystical qualities that are nearby such as the Serpent Mount in Peebles, Ohio (less than 3 hours from Newburgh, Heights). Indian folklore has deep roots in spirits such as the wendigo and giants that roamed the lands. Newburgh, Heights is located in the area formerly home to the Erie Indians ( an Iroquoian tribe). Indian burial grounds also has connections to another case involving missing 411.
Serpent Mound located in Peebles, Ohio
*The Kurt Sova case first aired via Unsolved Mysteries on November 23, 1988. It can be found on Amazon.com as Season 1: Episode 9
CURRENT UPDATE ON THE CASE: CLICK HERE
*Be sure to sign-up for our Kurt Sova EBook: “Fantasy of the Flesh” which will be released this June! It will follow the Kurt Sova case from a first-person perspective of a ‘fictional’ friend of Kurt.
This is an official PROJECT ASTRAL investigation.
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