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Kathy Gilleran is a twenty-year veteran police officer of the city of Ithaca, New York. Her son, Aeryn, is a researcher at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Vienna, Austria. On October 31, 2007, Kathy receives a call from UNIDO with distressing news: Aeryn failed to show up for work for two days in a row, and his colleagues are concerned for his well-being. Kathy immediately flies overseas to find him.
Upon arriving in Vienna, however, Kathy learns that the police have no interest in an investigation. Detectives tell her that Aeryn had been at the Kaiserbründl — an exclusive men’s sauna in downtown Vienna — on the evening of October 29th, when he suffered an extreme and sudden emotional breakdown, fled the sauna wearing only a towel, ran naked through the city streets, and jumped to his death into the Danube Canal. The police claim Aeryn committed “spontaneous” suicide.
Yet to Kathy, this explanation makes no sense, especially because no body had been recovered. Alone, short of funds, yet with abundant resilience, she initiates her own painful quest for the truth — all the while encountering overt police intimidation, abuse, and bigotry. But as she hones her instincts as a mother and her skills as a cop, Kathy ultimately discovers her own strength to keep fighting for her son — even to this day, nearly four years after he went missing.
GONE is the feature documentary that chronicles the story of Kathy Gilleran and her search for answers to Aeryn’s fate.