Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Local News

October 5, 2012

Kappes said to be safe

(Continued)

She did not speculate whether Kappes felt unsafe. “I can’t speak to the conversation that went down between the consular officer and Mr. Kappes.”

St. Louis Catholic Church always has a prayer service Saturday at 8 a.m., but on Oct. 6 attendees will be praying for his safety, said parish secretary Ellen Eckstein. “People are just very upset, worried.”

Archdiocesan officials issued a statement Oct. 4 about the growing mystery. It explained that Kappes, a priest for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, “has been in Athens the past three years at the request of the Vatican working on a doctorate degree. We are concerned that Father Kappes’ family has not been able to contact him in recent days. The archdiocese also has not been able to locate him.”

Kappes called his sister, Nadia Charcap, Indianapolis, Sept. 30, and reported his friend and translator, Ioanna Lekakou, was tortured and beaten after being threatened by "thugs" to give up a $70,000 inheritance, according to a timeline of events on her Facebook page. “Chris learned through a political figure that they are now looking for him,” because inheritance documents showed he was a beneficiary and was supposed to donate the money to the Sisters of Charity there.

On Oct. 1, a priest dropped Kappes and Lekakou at the airport. Kappes phoned his dad and said, “If you don’t hear from me in 12-24 hours, then I have been murdered,” the Facebook posting stated. The duo were supposed to arrive in Indianapolis Oct. 3, but never did.

Embassy officials told the family they believe the pair left the airport, “but we don’t know if it was by force,” his sister said.

Archdiocesan communications director Greg Otolski, Indianapolis, told The Herald-Tribune Oct. 5, “It’s kind of frustrating not being able to do a whole lot since we're here and he's in Greece.” Archdiocesan leaders have nudged other agencies to try and locate the missing 36-year-old. “The archdiocese has been in contact with the Vatican's office in the United States and they are looking into the matter. U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar's office is also investigating.”

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