25 years gone: Family of man who went missing in Fargo hopes interviews provide new clues
FARGO -- Michele Elsenpeter gets upset when people ask why she's still looking for answers to what happened to her brother, Kevin Mahoney, 25 years ago.
FARGO - Michele Elsenpeter gets upset when people ask why she's still looking for answers to what happened to her brother, Kevin Mahoney, 25 years ago.
Her family, and police, think foul play was involved when he disappeared Oct. 2, 1993, after a house party here.
"He's my brother and you just don't give up on family," Elsenpeter said.
Fargo police won't answer questions about the case, but issued a statement Sept. 28 that said Mahoney's disappearance is "an ongoing, open investigation," and that detectives are still doing interviews with people who've come forward with information "that has not yet been verified."
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Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Elsenpeter and her daughter, Tiffany, will do what they do every year on the anniversary of Mahoney's disappearance.
They'll post flyers bearing his photo and walk up and down the Veterans Memorial Bridge carrying signs, pleading for people to come forward with information.
The two are "100 percent certain" that one or more people partying with Mahoney that night either had a hand in his disappearance or know what happened to him.
"They're just not saying, for some reason or another," Elsenpeter said.
She would like to hold out hope Mahoney is still alive but knows that's not the case, because he was close to his family and never lost touch for more than a few days at a time.
Mahoney would now be 50 years old. His fellow party-goers that night are at least that age or older, Elsenpeter said.
Niece Tiffany, who was just a baby when her uncle vanished, appealed to their sense of moral duty.
"You have to be getting up there in age, and just to come clean, clear your slate. Get something off your conscience," she said.
Family wants new search
The house at 1118 11th St. N., which has had several owners since, was in 1993 a popular party spot, Elsenpeter said.
At times, she would party there with her brother and came to know the house well.
Mahoney had been helping the homeowner with a remodeling project there, she said. They'd work on it by day and start drinking in the evening, with friends often stopping by.
People partying the night in question would tell police Mahoney left around 1 a.m., on foot, headed for his brother's place in south Moorhead.
Elsenpeter believes he never left the house, and that there was some kind of altercation before he vanished.
In 2011, years after the homeowner moved out, police got a warrant to excavate an area under the house to look for evidence, or possibly a body, but found nothing.
Elsenpeter thinks they looked in the wrong spot. She said behind a wall in the basement, there used to be a room; a space she thinks could have been used to conceal a body.
Some may say her brother was just a "longhair" who drank to excess, she said. To her, he was her big brother, who loved to fish, suntan, work on roofing and painting jobs and babysit for friends. He was also someone she looked up to.
If Mahoney's remains are found, the family will bury him alongside his mother. She died a few years ago, not knowing what happened to her oldest son.
"I promised her I'd never give up," Elsenpeter said.
Anyone with information about the disappearance of Kevin Mahoney should call Fargo Police Investigations at 701-241-1405.