Q6 Cold Case Files: Vanished

It's been roughly 18 months since a 26-year-old Spokane Valley man traveled to Montana for work, never to be seen again. The many loved ones of Corey Flannigan try to stay optimistic that one day, answers about what happened to him, will come.

"I hate to call it a cold case after 18 months," said Flathead County Sheriff's Office Detective Rich Schuster. "But so far, we're not finding a whole lot that's pointing us in a direction that's really helping us."

You've probably heard people say, 'no one can just disappear.' But this case is proof they can. And they do.

Corey Flannigan was in Flathead County back in May of 2017. His fiancé said she didn't sense anything was off.

"I talked to him all day that day, everything was normal," Roxanne King said. "He was going to get a hotel that night.

But first, he was going to meet with some guys he'd done business with in the past, selling trucks and truck parts.

"I really feel something unexpected happened," she said.

Whatever that was, it went down on Rose Crossing Road just outside of Kalispell.

"A (neighbor) is driving home from work and sees the car crashed," Detective Schuster said.

The crash was bad. Corey had been driving an over-due rental car that night. He had hit a tree on the rural road.

 

"The airbag fired in the car, there was blood on the airbag," Detective Schuster said.

Corey had to have been hurt in the crash, a likely head injury, but where was he? After not hearing from Corey, Roxanne filed a missing person's report. Investigators quickly linked him to the crash they responded to earlier.

 

"At that point, we didn't know what we had," Detective Schuster said. "We still don't."

It was a single vehicle crash, and if anyone saw it, they weren't talking. The only lead detectives had was a set of footprints that seemed as if they came from the crashed car.

"They may or may not have been his," Detective Schuster said.

The prints went along a field toward a river about a quarter mile away.

To investigators, it seemed there were three scenarios of what could have happened.

"Was it an accident and he drowned? Was it homicide? Was it a person trying to flee from debt," Detective Schuster said. "That's unfortunately what makes this case so difficult. We have a (crashed) vehicle but no person."

 So where does that leave Roxanne and the couple's two children?

"It's like torture," she said. "I didn't know whether I should grieve or search. There was no way of knowing."

 And there still isn't. That's why Roxanne and the police are speaking out. They're hopeful if someone out there knows something or sees something that could help, they'll notify law enforcement. 

"All we want out of this, if he is gone, is to spread his ashes somewhere and take our kids to visit him," Roxanne said.

 If you know anything that could help, please call the Flathead County Sheriff's Office. 

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