NewsAshe County

Kuklentz Still A Missing Person 

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 5:56 pm

UPDATE from Ashe County Sheriff's Office – “UPDATE: June 21st, 2024, at 2:45pm. The missing individual has been located. Our deepest condolences go out to the family.”

WataugaOnline will update if more information becomes available.

Glendale Springs, N.C. – After a three-day search that began Saturday, June 15th, the search efforts for missing person David Kuklentz have been backed down. 

“Resources from across the state came to help with the search on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and we greatly appreciate the response. Unfortunately, rescue personnel were unable to locate him in the area around the vehicle”. ~Sheriff Phil Howell 

On June 15th, 2024, Kuklentz and his immediate family were visiting extended family in Ashe County. The subject was last seen on camera driving through the Jefferson area at 1:40 p.m. on Saturday. The family began worrying later that day when he did not return. At approximately 7:34 p.m., he was reported missing to the Ashe County 911 Dispatch Center. Ashe County Sheriff Deputies located the vehicle at 7:55 p.m. at the Northwest Trading Post located on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Glendale Springs. 

Local, state, and federal emergency services searched the areas surrounding the Northwest Trading Post, Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Mountains-To-Sea Trail. Agencies used several search tactics, including rescue/cadaver dogs, drones, and sonar boats; despite great effort, no trace of Mr. Kuklentz was found in the area. 

Ashe County Emergency Management Coordinator Patty Gambill wrote in a release, “Despite an extensive search effort that utilized a multitude of resources, no trace of Mr. Kuklentz was found. Therefore, regretfully, search efforts are suspended until any new leads surface. This is a decision that was not reached lightly. The Ashe County Sheriff's Office will continue to investigate, and emergency services organizations remain committed to re-evaluating any new information that comes to light”. 

Detectives with the Ashe County Sheriff's Office have and are currently using several investigative techniques to obtain evidence and information about Mr. Kuklentz's disappearance. At this time, the missing person's case will remain open and ongoing. If anyone has any information regarding Mr. Kuklentz's disappearance, don't hesitate to contact the Ashe County Sheriff's Office Detective Division at 336-846-5600. 

“While we do not suspect foul play, there is a missing person, and we have so many questions and very few answers. So, we are not ruling out anything and need help from the public. Mr. Kuklentz is a healthy individual who hikes and rides bicycles frequently. The Sheriff's Office will not be closing the case and will continue to search. We ask anyone out there to be on the lookout and call us with any tips. We have spent the weak following leads and closing them out; we will continue this process until he is found”. ~ Sheriff Phil Howell 

Name: David Kuklentz 

Age: 54 years old 

Height: 6'00” 

Weight: 180 lbs. 

Last seen: The vehicle was found at the Northwest Trading Post at milepost 258.7 on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Glendale Springs, NC. This location is on Hwy 16 South, just behind the Glendale Springs Fire Department. 

Last known clothing: White/Black striped short sleeve t-shirt, grey shorts, and flip flops. 


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