Who Did David Riemens Meet With Before He Vanished Without A Trace?

How did 60-year-old artist David Riemens vanish without a trace?

The Tennessee resident was a renowned craftsman and a beloved member of his tight community. Along with close friends in Tennessee, David has a large and loving family in Michigan. On the day he disappeared, he had planned to drive from Tennessee to Michigan to see his five younger siblings.

In the nearly four years since David was last seen, police have found little evidence and more questions than answers have been raised. Below, we review the biggest questions explored in tonight’s episode of Disappeared:

David outside the remarkable "Hobbit House" that he built on a friend's property

David outside the remarkable “Hobbit House” that he built on a friend’s property

Who Was David Meeting With Before Leaving Town? 

David was a renowned stone and rock mason, with acclaimed works across Wilson County, Tennessee. Before his planned trip to see his family in Michigan, David had set up a meeting with a contractor. Given his notoriety, it’s not unusual that he would meet with someone to discuss a possible job. But the big question remains — who exactly was David meeting?

“Everything that we’ve investigated leads me to believe that whoever this person is that he had intentions of going to meet didn’t turn out the way he thought it was going to turn out,” said Detective Robert “B.J.” Stafford with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department. Someone knows who David was supposed to meet and investigators hope that that person will come forward.

Why Did David Leave His Truck Behind? 

Friends reported that David’s pick-up truck was left at the local Dollar General store. And a friend of David’s report seeing him at the store in the hours before he was supposed to drive to Michigan. What happen after his last sighting and why was his car abandoned?

Those close to David insist that he would never leave his truck without explanation. And even more perplexing, when police went to check on his car after David was reported missing, the doors were locked. David’s friends insist that he never locked the doors of his truck.

Complicating the investigation, David was a free spirit and lived without a cell phone, credit card or computer. Most of David’s clients came through word of mouth and he did not keep a digital log of his job leads. Despite not adopting modern means of communication, David did check-in daily with the couple who owned the farm where he lived.

CCTV footage from inside the store confirmed that he did not enter the building. Sadly, the parking lot does not have a camera, so there is no footage of David to confirm who he met.

David and his beloved dog

David and his beloved dog

Was David Involved In A Car Accident?

Early in the investigation, many theorized that David got in the car with the contractor he was schedule to meet. Tracking dogs followed David’s scent for about 8 feet from where his car was parked, indicating that he likely entered a second vehicle before leaving the area.

But without any nearby evidence of a crash, it is unlikely that David got in an accident. Instead, many believe that someone intentionally made David disappear. A few days before David left he took out a significant amount of cash to use while driving to and from Michigan. Did someone see David withdrawal that money and take violent action to steal it?

Did David Follow His Dream Of An Alternative Lifestyle?

Some of David’s friends theorize that he followed-thru with his admiration for the hobo lifestyle. In the months leading to his disappearance, David had been painting romanticized scenes of free-living hobos. The idea that David intentionally dropped out of the society and is leaving a peaceful life off the grid provides comfort to some and confusion to others. David’s family insists that he would not put them through this agony on purpose and assert that he always sent letters to them despite his aversion to phones and email.

Those close to case insist that someone knows what happened to David. Hopefully, increased awareness about his disappearance will help bring resolution to David’s many friends and family.

If you know anything about the case, call the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department at 615-444-1412.

Friends and family set up a Facebook page which features the latest news on the case.

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  • thomas schmelz

    have the surrounding building material suppliers been checked for people buying materials during that time period

    • Cali Angelie

      I think they mentioned that the police tried that, but they live in such a rural area where a lot of people build without permits or anything “on the books” so they were having a hard time finding leads that way. It’s still a good idea to check that stuff as much as possible tho IMO.

      • thomas schmelz

        having a building permit is not the point.they still need building materials and they were bought from some supplier.

  • Sandyjeanie

    This case is eerily reminiscent of the Ohio Craigslist killer case.

    • Will

      Yes, Richard Beasley,I said the exact same thing Although there is a distance between Ohio where he killed his victims and Tennessee. Also I believe Beasley and his accomplice were arrested
      and in custody by the end of 2011.

  • Dena Sunshine

    Was there not one customer at the Dollar General that could have seen something?? Also is sounds to me, that gentleman would not have been a passenger and if he had to go somewhere with a potential client he would have taken his own vehicle. It seems after reading and watching this story on ID tv, and the with the dog Bear’s indication…I think David only got in the passengers side of the vehicle to talk and at that point had been taken against his will. My thoughts and prayers with the family and friends of David….

    • Grace Handy

      My gut feeling is the person in the second vehicle was either David’s “best friend” Marvin – or Marvin’s wife (in whom David had an interest). I think the entire “new job” story was a cover for his relationship with her. David had built Marvin a koi pond, and when TBI went to talk with Marvin, the koi pond had been filled with dirt.

  • Cali Angelie

    I’ve been binge watching these “Disappeared” shows and honestly,most of the cases seem like suicides to me (suicides that the people are trying to hide, probably to protect their families or because of religious beliefs, etc). But this case is different. I think this guy probably did meet with foul play. Maybe he got in someone’s car (a client? “friend”? Ex-GF? Maybe even a prostitute?) and that person somehow restrained him and drove off with him ,then killed him; either for $$$, revenge, jealousy, etc. The thought crossed my mind that his roommate could’ve done something to him (maybe jealousy over the wife?) but probably not tho. It’s such a weird story tho, cuz he really did just disappear into thin air. Still think it’s strange that nobody at the store saw anything strange before he disappeared. I really hope he took off to be a hobo, but after several years you’d think he’d at least call, send a postcard, Something to let his family know he’s alive and ok. This case is baffling.

  • Pilar

    Murdered by a serial killer..a local…sick head…my guess.

  • Insaneindamembwane

    Can the police track the day and time and exact bank he withdrew the funds for his trip? Maybe its possible someone at the bank remembers something or maybe their is suspicious ATM/Camera footage if someone saw him withdraw/take money out of the bank. That seems a more likely scenario. Maybe the dogs scent is from whoever was driving his car moving his body from his car to another car. Just an idea. If I ever had to guess I would guess that David probably wasn’t far from home where he got the bricks. Why doesnt the family/friends get an aerial view of some barns closer to to where he lived. Seems more likely he would have worked closer to home. Just a hunch.

  • Insaneindamembwane

    Also, if the people responsible for David’s disappearance were the ones who gave him the bricks, chances are they saw the”Disappeared” episode and ditched the bricks. The police should ask around if anyone has any of those bricks or if they remember anyone giving any away around that time. Could jog someone’s memory.

  • Rebecca Howard-Author

    Aw, RIP David. Sorry to hear that they found his body. I hope his family finally gets some answers.

  • aneurin bevan

    I read the rather overlong Wilson Post series about Riemans and, while he was sufficiently lauded there, was struck with a sort of counter-impression that this fellow could rub people the wrong way, and this he must have done. I think he was murdered and his killer is one known to many in his circle, and may be a part of that circle himself.

    • Syd676

      His body has been found. Google his name. And very close to his home, between the Dollar General and his home.