Indiana priest reported missing in Greece


A former Indiana priest is missing, and the case is drawing the attention of the US State Department, the Vatican and the FBI.

"My brother calls me in fear and tells me if you never hear from me again, these are the names you need to know," said Nadia Charcap.

Those are the haunting words left with the family of Father Christian Kappes, a Roman Catholic priest working on his doctorate in Greek language in Athens, Greece. His whereabouts are unknown.

Thursday afternoon, Kappes' family and friends gathered to pray for his safe return at the Holy Name Catholic Church in Beech Grove.

Father Kappes, 36, is a Franklin Central High School graduate, and was the state runner-up in wrestling before he went into the ministry.

"For him to call us so many times in three days, in panic, going from irritation to worry to absolute panic, something is not right," said Nadia Charcap, his sister.

She says concerns began escalating last weekend, when his interpreter was reportedly attacked over inheritance money. Out of concern for the interpreter's safety, Kappes wanted to get her out of Greece.

"On Sunday it went from 'I'm afraid for her' to he was afraid for himself. And by Monday he called us from the US Embassy fearing for his life," Charcap explained.

She said her brother purchased a $1,600 ticket.

But when the interpreter failed to show up here in the US Wednesday, the family knew there was trouble, especially after a heart-wrenching conversation the priest had with his father.

"He said to my dad, that 'if I leave the U.S. Embassy, then they'll never see me again. I love you, you've been a great dad and thank you for everything,'" recalled Charcap.

She said the US Embassy would not allow Fr. Kappes to stay in their protection. The family has since reached out to the Sen. Lugar's Office.

Spokesman Wayne Stanley told Eyewitness News, "The Embassy and the American Citizen's Services Chief are still working on the matter in Greece. The Department of State is aware of this case as well and is working with the American Citizen's Services Chief in Greece."

"We are hopeful they locate Father Kappes very soon," said Stanley.

"I'm just on a mission to find my brother. Whatever scenario it is, I don't care. I want to find my brother. That's all I want. I just want to find my brother," said Charcap before she welled up with emotion.