In the summer of 2019, weeks after 17-year-old Nikki Kuhnhausen disappeared during a late night walk in Vancouver, Washington, there seemed to be a slowdown in media coverage surrounding the case. Nikki’s family knew she was in danger and that she wouldn’t have left on her own. But police released few details about the investigation.
People speculated that Nikki had been abducted. Some even theorized it was the work of a serial killer who was targeting trans women. Others suggested Nikki was taken out of Washington and forced into sex trafficking. No one in the public knew the name “David Bogdanov” yet, or that behind the scenes, police were closely examining his background and his whereabouts on the morning Nikki disappeared.
Detectives had to keep that information close to the vest, as to not compromise the investigation. Vancouver Police Department Detective David Jensen had been trying to contact Bogdanov for weeks with no success. Jensen was unaware that Bogdanov had flown to Kiev, Ukraine, the morning Nikki disappeared. By September of 2019, Bogdanov was back in the U.S. and finally agreed to meet with Jensen for an interview.
On October 2, four months after Nikki went missing, Bogdanov met with detectives for a formal interview. He recounted the night he met Nikki as she walked down the street. Bogdanov claimed he pulled over and offered Nikki his jacket. The two exchanged Snapchat names and met up a few hours later. Bogdanov told police that during that meetup, Nikki revealed she was transgender and he told her to get out of his car. He claims Nikki walked away from his car and he never saw her again. With nobody and no proof of a crime, detectives were forced to let Bogdanov leave after the interview was done.