• 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
 'One dead and two injured' in Germany machete attack
News channel NTV said there were scenes of panic in the city centre following the attack. Photo: DPA

A 21-year-old Syrian asylum-seeker killed a woman and injured two people with a machete Sunday in the southwest German city of Reutlingen in an incident local police said did not bear the hallmarks of a "terrorist attack".

Munich gunman planned attacks for one year: officials
Vigils continue in Munich to commemorate the victims, seven of whom were teenagers. Photo: DPA

The teenage gunman who killed nine people in Munich on Friday had been planning his attack for a year, according to German authorities.

Germany grapples with enigma of Munich gunman
A debate is already underway as to whether Germany's gun laws, which are already strict, should be tightened further. Photo: AFP

Investigators were seeking clues on Sunday into the mind of gunman David Ali Sonboly, the teen author of one of Germany's bloodiest killing sprees.

Munich shooting
 Social media a blessing and a curse in Munich shooting
The Munich gunman may have hacked a Facebook account to lure some of the victims to the McDonald's fast-food outlet where the shooting began. Photo: DPA

Social networks were both a curse and a blessing in the deadly shopping mall shooting in Munich, as police sometimes found themselves chasing fictitious leads and false alarms.

Munich shooting
Munich pulls together after shopping mall shooting
Photo: DPA

In the chaos after the Munich mall shooting, city residents spontaneously offered shelter to strangers - a move that Chancellor Angela Merkel said showed that Germany's strength lies in its values.

Munich shooting
Merkel deplores 'night of horror' in Munich
Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday said Munich had suffered a "night of horror" after a shooting spree in the southern German city left nine people dead.

Munich shooting
Munich attacker was shy video game fan
People laying flowers at the site of the shootings. Photo: DPA.

David Ali Sonboly was a quiet, helpful teenager who loved playing video games. His neighbours say there were no warning signs before his deadly rampage at a Munich shopping mall.

Munich shooting
Munich gunman inspired by rightwing Breivik: police
Photo: DPA

The lone teenager who shot dead nine people in a gun rampage in Munich was "obsessed" with mass killers such as Norwegian rightwing fanatic Anders Behring Breivik and had no links to the Islamic State group, police said Saturday.

Munich shooting
Turks, Kosovans and a Greek among shooting victims
Photo: DPA

Three Turkish citizens were among the nine people killed in Germany's Munich mall shooting. Three Kosovans were also among the nine victims.

Munich shooting
Munich gunman was likely not Isis terrorist: police
Flowers laid at the Olympia Shopping Centre underground station. Photo: DPA

According to initial investigations by Munich police, the young man who went on a shooting rampage in Munich on Friday evening was a lone gunman without motive, not a terrorist.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Analysis & Opinion
Nice was an attack on France, not on Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
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
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd