A family in Florida is still desperately trying to find 39-year-old Kurt Hartman nearly two weeks after he disappeared from the Longwood, Florida area in October.
Kurt, who was living in North Carolina, had quit his job as an electrical assistant in August and moved down to Florida for a fresh start, according to his brother Jeremy Hartman.
“He’d been through a lot and just needed a change. A fresh start,” Jeremy told Dateline. “He stayed with us for a few weeks and with our parents. But he didn’t really know anyone here yet. We just don’t know where he could be.”
Jeremy, who lives in Winter Park, Florida, last saw his brother in September and said Kurt had been staying at various Airbnbs since then.
A week after Jeremey spoke to Kurt on the phone, Kurt went missing.
According to Lt. Edwin Santos with the Winter Park Police Department, Kurt was last seen near a retention pond behind a Wawa convenience store at the intersection of Highway 434 and Ronald Reagan Boulevard in Longwood, Florida. A woman who lived nearby called Longwood Police to report a suspicious person standing near the pond. Longwood Police responded and spoke briefly to Kurt who told them he was out just enjoying the day.
Jeremy told Dateline that he later spoke to the neighbor who told him she watched Kurt the rest of the evening as he hung around the pond.When she checked the next morning, he was gone.
A couple of days later, on October 28, 2020, Kurt’s truck was found abandoned on the south end of Sanford. Jeremy said his brother’s belongings, including his tools, some clothing and a suitcase were found locked inside.
“His things were there in his truck, which was locked, but he was nowhere to be found,” Jeremy said. “It’s just odd and makes no sense that he would just wander off without anything.”
Jeremy told Dateline he filed a missing persons report on October 28 with the Winter Park Police Department, who then launched an investigation.
But more questions than answers surfaced when Kurt’s cell phone and wallet were found about four miles away from his truck, on a stretch of Highway 17-92, and turned in to State Highway Patrol by an unknown individual.
Following the initial investigation, Lt. Santos told Dateline that detectives don’t believe foul play is involved in Kurt’s disappearance, but encourages the public to send any relevant tips to the police department.
Kurt’s family are still concerned for his safety and continue to search for him. Jeremy told Dateline they have searched the area he was last seen and the stretch of highway where his belongings were found.
“Something just doesn’t feel right,” Jeremy said. “We just want to know where he is and want to know that he’s safe.”
They have also set up a “Kurt Hartman Search” page on Facebook to share news about their search and hope to receive information that will lead to Kurt.
“Social media has really been the most effective way of getting the information out and sharing his photo,” Jeremy said. “We know he’s out there… We just hope someone who’s seen him will message us or call the police. Anything helps.”
Kurt is 5’10” tall, weighs approximately 165-170 pounds, and doesn’t have any tattoos. He was last seen wearing a red t-shirt, brown long pants, and sneakers.
Anyone who might have information about Kurt’s whereabouts is asked to call the Winter Park Police Department at 800-423-TIPS (8477) or 407-599-3367.