Two men vanished from a party decades ago in northeast Kansas and what happened to them remains a mystery to this day.


Steven Hammerle and Joe Grasher were last seen on Aug. 22, 1981, in Manhattan.

 

According to the Riley County Police Department, Steven and Joe were attending a birthday party near 10th and Poyntz Avenue -- about a block east of the City Park. They were leaving with two people in a red van and were never heard from again, as detailed in a case file with the Department of Justice’s National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs.) Foul play is suspected in their disappearance.

 

 

Steve is paralyzed from the waist down and uses a wheelchair. The men were described by investigators, then, as being drifters. Through the years, RCPD has tried to revive the case, including offering a reward for tips. Steve’s story is listed in the Kansas Bureau of Investigation’s and NamUs’ missing persons databases; however, Joe’s name is not listed – something KAKE News has inquired as to why.

 

There are Facebook pages supporting the search for the two men, including Missing Stevie Scott Hammerle and Missing: Joseph “Joe” Grasher.


 

STEVE SCOTT HAMMERLE

Missing from: Manhattan, Kan.

Missing since: Aug. 22, 1981

Age when reported missing: 26

Nickname/Alias: Stevie, Steve, Stephen Faircloth

Height then: 5’10’’

Weight then: 170 pounds

Hair: Brown

Eyes: Blue

Distinguishing marks: upper teeth extracted, typically sported a beard and mustache; several homemade tattoos on fingers and arms, including, as noted in NamUs:

  • “LOVE LISA” tattooed across fingers
  • Small eagle tattoo on right upper arm
  • Devil tattoo in an unknown location
  • Tattoo on left arm of a cat/leopard
  • Tattoo on right forearm of a man
  • Tattoo on upper right arm of "Love"
  • Tattoo on upper left arm of "Leo"
  • Tattoo on unknown arm of "Joey"
  • Tattoo on unknown arm of "Born to Run"

 

 

JOE GRASHER

Missing from: Manhattan, Kan.

Missing since: Aug. 22, 1981

Age when reported missing: 21

Nickname/Alias: Some stories online may refer to him at Joe Grashner

Height then: Between 5’8’’ to 6’

Hair: Blondish-brown

Eyes: Blue

Distinguishing marks: tattoo on arm


If you have information that could help the case, contact the Riley County Police Department at (785) 537-2112, the Manhattan Riley County Crime Stoppers at (785) 539-7777 or call the Kansas Bureau of Investigation at (800) KS-CRIME. You can also submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers at RileyCountyPolice.org and you may be eligible for a cash reward.

 

KAKE News features the story of a missing person every weekday in our newscasts at 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. If you have a person you’d like for us to share a story about, please contact Anchor Annette Lawless at [email protected].