Ten years later, Tech student's disappearance remains a mystery.
Mothers know fear.
They know it when their toddler first jumps into a pool, they know it when their teenager stays out past curfew, and they know it when their child goes away to college.
Sometimes fear is replaced by relief, as a child's head surfaces from under the water, the family car pulls in to the driveway late at night, or a reassuring phone call tells mom that her college student is doing OK.
But sometimes fear does not go away.
So it goes for Jacqueline Kovack, who 10 years ago tried to call her son Robert, then a graduate student at Virginia Tech. She called on a Friday, but her son wasn't home. She waited until Saturday, but her call was never returned. She called several times on Sunday, but Rob still wasn't there.
Rob always called home on Sunday night, but this time Jacqueline's phone never rang.
Jacqueline called again on Monday morning demanding answers. But this time, she was told that Rob had left Blacksburg on Friday evening, heading home to Rivesville, W.Va., for the weekend.
His vehicle was found abandoned three days later - Sept. 22, 1998 - on U.S. Route 19 near Fayetteville, W.Va. And so began one of the most mysterious cases in Virginia Tech history - a missing person investigation full of contradictions, loose ends and boundless conjecture.
But it's also the story of a young man of modest means and tremendous potential. It's the story of a brotherly love spanning decades. And it's the story of a mother's fear that, in 10 years, has never been replaced by relief or closure.
Related Topics: ten years, robert kovack, missing person