LOUISVILLE, Ky. — To mark three years since Andrea Knabel's disappearance, family, friends and those who've been following her case closely used their time to raise awareness for the missing mother.
They held a candlelit walk Saturday, to honor Andrea.
"It's to raise a lot of awareness. It's basically a vigil for Andrea, to honor her," Andrea's younger sister, Erin Knabel said.
"We kind of use this to talk about it, to kind of heal ourselves mentally because it has been one dark, dark saga," Andrea's father Mike Knabel said.
Andrea Knabel was 37 when she was last seen alive. In a terrible twist of fate, the member of 'Missing in America' — a group dedicated to searching for missing people — became the focus of searches. The last time Knabel was seen alive was Aug. 12, 2019.
The Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) took on the case, and what followed was over a year with very few answers.
In January of 2021, the family hired a private investigator to search for clues, separate from law enforcement.
Mike Knabel said just this past week, he sat with investigators for 45 minutes revisiting the case.
"If something comes in, I mean, I set down everything and I go," Mike Knabel said.
Forging along a path spanning years and retracing time and again that same,. last path her family believes she walked the day she went missing. As her father put it: "Doing the exact same thing she was doing at the exact same time."
"There is a great deal of significance and it's very emotional," Mike Knabel said. "We've been in this thing through thick and thin. "
When you've been raising awareness for, now, 1,096 days, her family says it undoubtedly starts to take a toll.
"It's automatic dread," Erin Knabel said. "You feel like an elephant is sitting on your chest. It's a terrible feeling."
But they say the motivation to find answers never stops.
Father Mike Knabel said within the last few months, perseverance is starting to pay-off.
"Things are advancing. We can't talk about a lot of it and we've had many people come forward, and this is three years later," he said. "A lot of people are starting to come forward, all in the last six months. Things are starting to get more interesting."
Knabel added they're unable to delve into too many details about these new, promising leads, but said it's more than reason enough to keep getting the word out there and keep raising awareness.
It's something, he said, they'll continue to do until they find Andrea, emphasizing it's not if but when they find her.
Anyone with information on Knabel's case is urged to call 574-LMPD.