Missing man's kin mark year

By now, Brian Anthony Wehrle's Atlanta-based family would have celebrated his 40th birthday.

Instead, relatives continue to wonder where he is and whether he's alive.

In December 2009, they identified his car, which was abandoned in Chattanooga after he disappeared from a relative's house in Carrollton, Ga., on Sept. 23, 2009, leaving behind money, his cell phone and his medication.

"What can you do?" asked his older brother, 56-year-old Chris Wehrle. "I don't have any theories. Maybe he went and took some time [for himself], even though that's out of character. It's sort of the hope I'm clinging to."

A former land surveyor, Brian Wehrle hasn't returned and no one has heard from him, prompting the Carrollton Police Department to offer a $10,000 reward for information that could lead to him, according to Carrollton detective Tony Johnson.

Johnson said he had no new information that he could share, but said he's been in Chattanooga several times to investigate the situation.

A body found Thursday drifting near Ross's Landing piqued Johnson's interest, but Chattanooga Police Department Assistant Chief Tim Carroll said it wasn't Brian Wehrle.

In December, his blue 1992 Buick LeSabre was identified at Judson Lane and Chamberlain Avenue in Chattanooga, having sat there for a month. The car's Georgia license plate had been removed and replaced with a stolen Tennessee tag, Johnson said at the time.

"It wasn't unusual for cars to be parked right there in that particular area, because someone there works on cars and that's where they park," Johnson said. "We were able to find someone who saw a black male park the car and leave it."

That led police to suspect foul play, since Brian Wehrle is white.

"That's the last we've heard," Barry Rose 9/24/10 Chattanooga Police Department Assistant Chief Tim Carroll said. "The Carrollton people took the car with them."

When Brian Wehrle left the home of his Carrollton relative back in September, everything pointed to a short trip, officials said.

"It was just like he had left to go somewhere and was going to return in a few minutes and nobody has seen him since," Johnson said at the time.

Brian Wehrle is one of nine siblings in a family that stretches from Atlanta to New Jersey and Missouri. His brother said he didn't have any major health issues aside from a pacemaker to maintain a regular heartbeat.

"I hope and pray he's all right and safe somewhere," Chris Wehrle said. "If he is, we wish he'd let us know something."

Staff writer Todd South contributed to this story.

Upcoming Events