• Germany's news in English

US man missing for seven days in Frankfurt

Kristen Allen · 27 Nov 2009, 14:38

Published: 27 Nov 2009 14:38 GMT+01:00

Devon Hollahan and his friend Josh Friedman had travelled to Frankfurt from Prague, where Hollahan works as an English teacher, to attend a concert by the band Portugal The Man on November 20.

Hollahan and Friedman had been drinking beer and were “tipsy” after attending an after party with the band, his father said. They then took a taxi to central Frankfurt to find their hostel around 3 am, getting out at the Hotel Luxor before heading to the Taunusanlange metro station – on the edge of the city’s red light district.

Friedman turned away from Hollahan to ask someone for directions, but when he finished, his friend was gone.

“It was in a matter of just one-and-a-half to two minutes,” Hollahan’s father Jeff told The Local from a television news studio in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he was preparing to make an appeal for help in the search for his son.

“The plan has been to generate some media attention so we can get more eyes and ears on the street that are familiar with his description in case someone sees him or remembers something from early Saturday morning,” he said.

Friedman attempted to contact Hollahan with text messages and phone calls, but he did not respond. When he didn’t show up at the hostel the next day, Friedman reported him missing to the Frankfurt police and the US consulate.

“This is totally out of character,” Jeff Hollahan said, describing his son, who recently completed an economics degree before earning his teaching certificate in Prague, as responsible and conscientious.

The young man’s father said he has been working closely with the US consulate, the US Department of Homeland Security, and police in Frankfurt and Prague.

Authorities in Prague will soon visit his son’s apartment in Prague to look for clues.

“Their plan is to review the information on his laptop to see if there’s anything that suggests that maybe he had other plans once he got to Frankfurt,” Jeff Hollahan said. “They will also get some of his clothes to send to Frankfurt to help the team with search dogs.”

Hollahan plans to fly into Frankfurt on Monday morning to aid authorities in their search, he said.

Meanwhile the German media reported that kidnapping could be a motive and that the FBI had become involved in the case because Hollahan holds the title of First Vice President at financial services provider Morgan Stanley.

“I don’t know if the FBI is on the case,” he said. “But I am not a prominent banker or executive, I am a financial advisor.”

Story continues below…

The US consulate in Frankfurt told The Local it could not comment on the case due to privacy laws until they had approval from officials in Washington, DC.

Frankfurt police were not immediately available for comment.

Devon Hollahan is 22-years-old, 183 centimetres (six feet) tall, weighs approximately 68 kilogrammes (150 pounds), and has red hair. When last seen he was wearing a green, plaid shirt, jeans, a black jacket and a tan cap. Anyone who believes they may have clues to his disappearance is asked to contact Frankfurt police or the US consulate.

“There have been a lot of resources called in to assist us, but to date there are no hints, no nothing. He’s literally just dropped off the face of the earth,” his father said.

Related links:

Kristen Allen (kristen.allen@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

18:13 November 27, 2009 by koolbreeze
Im soory to say but sounds like he was around the wrong part of town. Frankfurt is a beautiful city, but like many cities there are some places you dont want to be in at 3am.
22:48 November 27, 2009 by pepsionice
Knowing a bit about Frankfurt....guys don't disappear like this typically. Based on the story given, I would give the following observations:

- This guy was about 1,500 feet from the river. Given the fact of no cellphone contact, it's possible that he was drunk enough to make it to the river and to one of the three bridges within that zone. It is possible he fell into the river.

- These guys weren't near the redlight zone....which is really the heroin zone....if the story of them being near the Luxor hotel is correct. Considering they were both drunk....I might question this part of the story.

- I would question the kidnapping idea.....he was living in Prague which would have been just as good a location to kidnap him....so why bother with the Frankfurt angle? A kidnapping also would have occurred quickly with a response with the kidnappers and avoid cops being involved (their typical plan).

- So I'm left questioning if the room mate remembered the location they were at last (maybe he's off by a block or two)....and if the guys were doing any drugs with folks they were partying with. I realize it may not be normal behavior of the missing guy.....but guys do stupid things when they get drunk.

Finally, for those who really get into this hostel travel option....it's just another story to add to why it's not the brightest of ideas to hang out at hostels. The hostel in front of the Frankfurt train station is the absolute last place you want to hang out around after midnight.
14:15 November 28, 2009 by Ceven
@pepsionice - I don't know why it's not a nice thing to hangt out at hostels. I have been working at a small one for the last 5 1/2 years in Berlin. I've also stayed in quite a few around the continent during this time. Typically hostels are a place where people can go and meet other travellers. Mine, as well as many others have a strict policy about people off the street hanging around. I don't know what your idea of what happens in most hostels, especially ones in larger cities, but it doesn't have a lot of basis in fact. A person could go to any kneipe, gestätte, restaurant, lounge, club, spätkauf, etc and would likely have more of a chance of finding trouble than in a hostel. Anyhow, I know from personal experiences that if there are potential problems, most hostel workers will call the police to get rid of any bad influences. Travellers write reviews on personal accounts all over the internet about hostels and the business is competetive enough that no one wants to be known as a place where people get lost. That would be the worst for business.
16:59 November 28, 2009 by YankeeT
6' tall and 150 pounds - I fear for the boy. Especially if he was tipsy.

But seriously - I doubt he was kidnapped. Someone would have been contacted for ransom by now.

In case the media is playing silly games though, this was a good statement: ¦quot;I don¦#39;t know if the FBI is on the case,¦quot; he said. ¦quot;But I am not a prominent banker or executive, I am a financial advisor.¦quot;

If the FBI was involved, he'd know it by now. It's good to deny law enforcement involvement and dash the hopes of potential kidnappers with the assertion, "I am not a prominent banker or executive" in case they are thinking the ransom should be set high.
09:58 December 2, 2009 by MaKo
:( I just hope my fellow American is okay.
22:33 December 3, 2009 by anne von gleichen
It schocked me to hear the news that a 22 year old American tourist just

vanished nearly two weeks ago.

What I cannot understand is why the two lads took a taxi and did not go with

it direct to the hotel or hostel? It seems not logical and they would have arrived

safely. Instead they got out of the taxi and looked for their rooms.

I feel very sad for all the persons involved, especially Devon's friend.

Hopefully the mystery will be solved as soon as possible.
Today's headlines
Merkel’s party mate wants to get rid of all Karl Marx streets
Karl Marx and one of the roadways in Berlin named for him. Photos: Wikimedia Commons, Nicor

Hundreds of streets are named after the founder of communism, but this conservative politician wants to give Marx the boot.

State elections
6 reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Photo: DPA

With state elections around the corner, The Local looks at the poor side of Germany's "poor but sexy" capital city.

Upstarts RB Leipzig plan to go right to top of Bundesliga
RB Leipzig players celebrate scoring against Dynamo Dresden. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig make their Bundesliga debut on Sunday, but the East German outfit, sponsored by energy drinks manufacturer Red Bull, are already far from popular in Germany's top-flight.

Poland criticizes Germany’s 'self-serving' foreign policy
Witold Waszczykowski. Photo: DPA

The Polish foreign minister has said that Germany all too often follows its own interests at the expense of its partners, as Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to visit Warsaw.

Vast majority of Germans in favour of burqa ban: poll
Women wearing niqab veils in Saudi Arabia. Photo: DPA.

A survey found that the vast majority of respondents were in favour of Germany passing a ban on the full-body veil sometimes worn by Muslim women.

Czech police detain driver for harassing Merkel's motorcade
Angela Merkel. File photo: DPA

Czech police arrested a man on Thursday for attempting to drive into the motorcade of visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Prague, they said.

Teacher convicted for holding kids back after class
Photo: DPA

A music teacher from North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has been found guilty of "holding people against their will" after he made some naughty stay kids back after class.

Germany-denying beauty king fights cops with guns, teeth
Left: Adrian Ursache in his glam days as the 1998 Mr. Germany. Right: Police trying to evict him from his own 'country'. Photos: DPA.

Former Mr. Germany winner and founder of a group that denies the existence of Germany refused to be evicted, provoking a shootout - and bite-out - with police.

Politicians renew call to bring Snowden to Germany

Green and Die Linke (Left Party) politicians are asking that NSA surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden be allowed into Germany for an ongoing investigation.

Merkel urged to address Turkmenistan rights record
Angela Merkel with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov. Photo: DPA

Human Rights Watch on Thursday urged Chancellor Angela Merkel to bring up major rights violations, including a "policy of disappearances", when Germany hosts the president of Turkmenistan next week.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd