Charlie Carver and Kala Brown didn’t show up to dinner on Aug. 31.
It seemed odd. The South Carolina couple had just moved together into a house in Anderson, and Brown was excited to show off her new live-in beau to her friend, Lindsey Mayson.
“That’s what that Thursday night was supposed to be about,” Mayson told the Daily Beast. “It was meeting them and having dinner with them and getting to know each other.”
But that never happened. Security footage showed Carver leaving work that day, but he never went to dinner. Neither did Brown.
Standing up one friend for dinner, while rude, could have been an isolated incident. But then neither of their mothers heard from them. No other friends or family did, even though they rarely went a day without calling a relative.
They were just . . . gone.
“It’s like you have a hot skillet, and they are two drops of water you put on it. They just disappear,” Kala’s mother Bobbie Newsom told Dateline. “It’s not that they just haven’t talked to their moms. No one has heard from them.”
When the concerned friends and family tried calling the couple, their phones were off.
Some thought they could have fled town on an impromptu vacation, as the couple’s 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix, sporting an LSU vanity plate on the front bumper and an LSU decal on the back windshield, was missing.
But that didn’t quite make sense. The door to their house was unlocked, and their prescription medications were still at home. So were Brown’s contact lenses and glasses.
Most shocking to some, their Pomeranian dog Romeo was roaming the house freely without food or water, its crate missing.
“That dog is her baby,” Newsom told Dateline. “She’d never leave him like that.”
Police began looking into it, but as of this week, nearly two months after anyone had heard from them, they still don’t have any suspects.
“We tracked down the leads we had, but there isn’t very much,” Lt. Mike Aikens told Dateline. “We just want to make sure they are okay, because it has been some time.”
A week after that, a message was briefly posted to the account stating the couple was fine, and then deleted, People reported.
It struck his friends and family members as odd — Carver wasn’t an active Facebook user.
Suddenly, the page exploded with content, as if it had been hacked. It would appear to be flooded with spam, but a closer inspection revealed many of the posts to be related to the couple.
News stories about the missing couple appeared in rapid-fire succession, along with other stories about missing people. Strange, violent images and memes began being posted on the Facebook page.
Even innocuous ones took on new meaning, such as one posted photograph that simply included the final lines to “Hotel California” by the Eagles:
Last thing I remember, I was running for the door. I had to find the passage back to the place I was before. “Relax,” said the night man. “We are programmed to receive. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.
Facebook users, seeming to be friends and family, have desperately asked questions on many posts.
On one — a post of a missing poster for the couple — a user wrote, “Why the missing poster, Charlie? Is there a message you’re trying to send?”
On Oct. 1, one user commented on the marriage announcement, ” Where the hell is Kala Brown???” to which Charlie’s Facebook account responded, “kala is with her husband charlie.”
On another post, a user asked where Kala was, to which Charlie’s account responded “who the f––– are you to question me about my girlfriend?”
Carver’s mother Joanne Shiflet told NBC that all the photographs of the two that have been uploaded are more than a year old, and that her son didn’t post memes like these.
“It’s getting people thinking they are found, but they are not,” Shiflet said.
“I wish I could tell them to stop,” Carver’s younger sister Katie told the Daily Beast. “If they know where he is, bring him home.”
The account also appeared to be messaging friends.
“im just missing to everyone else,” Carver’s account told a friend in a message obtained by the Daily Beast. “We [are] both ok. there is only one person that knows where we are … the person that means the most to me and kala she know where we are and we are coming that way for ever.”
Meanwhile, Brown’s account hasn’t been updated since Aug. 27.
Anderson police Lt. David Creamer told the Daily Beast that he does not believe his office has attempted to contact Facebook in an attempt to discover who is posting these things.
“To do anything like that, we’d have to issue a search warrant to Facebook,” Creamer said. “I don’t know if we’ve done that but I’m pretty sure we have not done that. … You’d have to serve [Facebook] with a search warrant to search their records for an IP.”
A Facebook spokesperson told the website that if they were served with a warrant, they would turn over “recent login/logout IP addresses . . . and location information.”
The investigation continues, and the couple’s families just want them home, regardless of why they’ve gone missing.
“There are so many people who are worried about them and love them,” Newsom told Dateline. “Whatever the problem, we’ll figure it out. No one here will judge them. We love them.”
Added Shiflet, “You would never imagine this empty feeling. It’s so much worse than you can think, not knowing.”