West Bottoms store owner disappears with thousands of dollars owed to customers and boss

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- David Hibler and his partner Dustin are building their dream home on the banks of Lake Viking, about an hour north of Kansas City.

With their budget already stretched thin, the two tried to save money by buying materials, including their front door, from a surplus building supply store called 2nd Saturday in Kansas City’s West Bottoms.

"We had found flooring that we liked," Hibler said. "So we wrote him a check for $4,600."

"Him" is 2nd Saturday owner Joshuah Embrey. Although the hickory hardwood flooring was in the shop the day David wrote the check, Embrey said Hibler couldn’t take it with him until his check cleared.

Hibler wasn’t worried since he’d done a lot of business with Embrey before.

"He's a very nice person," Hibler said. "He's very knowledgeable about building materials."

That's why what happened next was so surprising. When David and Dustin returned to the shop to pick up the flooring, they discovered 2nd Saturday was no longer in business. The owner had disappeared -- along with their flooring and their money.

Efforts to contact Embrey have proved fruitless, Hibler said. His phone number no longer works.

So what happened to Embrey?

"He had a big blow up in the office with me over nothing," said Richard Peak, of Peak Auctioneering, who rented out his warehouse to 2nd Saturday.

Peak said Embrey was a longtime employee of Peak Auctioneering and owned and operated 2nd Saturday on the side.

The surplus building materials 2nd Saturday sold were items that Peak had been unable to move at auction for its vendors. Peak said Embrey would keep a percentage of every item he sold at 2nd Saturday, and the rest of the money went back to the vendors.

"It worked fine until he went south," Peak said, referring to Embrey and that ominous day when he said Embrey left in a huff.

The same week Embrey quit Peak Auctioneering, he also failed to show up at 2nd Saturday.

Even more concerning, Peak said, Embrey failed to hand over to him the $20,000 he’d collected in sales that month at 2nd Saturday. That’s money owed to Peak’s vendors. Peak is repaying vendors out of his own pocket.

Problem Solvers tried to talk to Embrey, but his phone number no longer works. He didn’t answer his door or respond to a message left on his Facebook page.

The only bright spot in this entire tale is that David Peak felt so bad for Hibler and Dustin that he’s working with a flooring supplier to try and get them a low-cost deal on new flooring.

If you happen to see Joshuah Embrey, please let him know Fox 4 Problem Solvers is looking for him.