On August 10, Kenneth “Ken” Draper’s wife watched as her husband walked into their bathroom. She saw the light turn on and then off.
As NBC News’s “Dateline” reports, Leslie Draper was falling asleep to an audiobook in bed with her earphones in as she saw her 53-year-old husband turn the bathroom light on and off. When she woke up around 6:30 a.m. the next morning, he was gone.
Ken’s sister-in-law, Gail Percle, explained that Ken wasn’t normally awake that early in the morning and that if he was, it would be to walk the dog. That morning, however, the Texas couple’s dog was indoors, and Ken’s car was still parked in the driveway.
Worried, Leslie called a friend, but it wasn’t until later that day — around 12:30 p.m., when Ken still hadn’t returned home — that Leslie called the police.
Percle told “Dateline” the whole situation is extremely unusual:
“It’s just so unlike him, we’re all shocked. Everyone who knows him is like, ‘Is this a joke? This isn’t funny.’ No one can believe he’s just gone.”
Ken and Leslie have been married for 20 years, although he is reported to have a good relationship with his first wife with whom he has two sons. Friends and family say their loved one is “reserved” but is known as having many friends and for always attending family get-togethers.
And perhaps it’s this love of being around others that makes his sudden disappearance more disturbing, as Percle revealed that Leslie and Ken had upcoming vacation plans. The couple had rented a house in North Carolina for the August 21 solar eclipse, inviting friends to come along.
Percle told “Dateline” that by all accounts, her brother-in-law seemed excited about the upcoming trip:
“He loves that sort of stuff. He’s a bit nerdy, loves science and stuff. It sounded like he was really looking forward to seeing it.”
Ken’s family doesn’t believe their loved one was dealing with any hidden issues aside from work-related stress. He is described as 5 feet 11 inches and approximately 165 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.
Police are investigating the mysterious disappearance, but they do not suspect foul play. Officials believe Ken left on his own; however, according to Corinth, Texas, Assistant Chief Greg Wilkerson, authorities are concerned for his safety:
“We’ve tracked down every possible lead, but there has been nothing. We’re hoping someone sees his picture and recognizes him, and calls us. And we can intervene or offer help to him if he needs it.”
His family just wants him home. As Percle told “Dateline”:
“It’s just crazy. You think, ‘Did something happen?’ We just want him to know we love him and we want him to come home. And to anyone who knows anything, he has a family and is very loved.”
Perhaps missing him most is the last person who saw him, Leslie.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Corinth Police Department at (940) 349-1600.