‘Unsolved Mysteries’: The 1 Case That Still Stumps the Series’ Producers

Netflix has become more than a pitstop for entertainment with its mind-bending Unsolved Mysteries reboot.

Viewers couldn’t wait for volume 2 of the series to arrive this October and many are still ruminating on the episodes from volume 1. Out of the 12 cases presented in season 1, there is one that continues to baffle the show’s executive producer, Terry Dunn Meurer.

'Unsolved Mysteries' on Netflix
‘Unsolved Mysteries’ | Netflix

‘Unsolved Mysteries’ story about Rey Rivera still a puzzle

There are undoubtedly some fans who watched the Rey Rivera “Mystery on a Rooftop” multiple times while trying to piece things together.

Rivera was 32 when he went missing from his Baltimore home and found dead one week later in an unused room of the Belvedere Hotel. A hole in the roof, personal effects, and a mysterious phone call were among the clues.

Dunn Meurer told Collider that this case is one among thousands that perplexes her. “Actually that one boggles my mind. I was up on that roof. And just as we say, in the peak to get to that roof as a challenge, you would have to know how to get there,” she said.

“You’d have to have somebody to guide you up there. And when you stand there and you see where he landed and try to imagine where he could have come off that roof, it’s just impossible. It’s mindboggling.”

One of the answers she’s seeking is who made the phone call that prompted Rivera to leave his house. She’s aware of viewers’ theories, but Dunn Meurer said the story is still under investigation by the journalists featured in the episode.

Rivera’s wife suspected foul play

Alison Rivera is still seeking closure for her husband’s death. The events leading up to it include odd phone calls, two home break-ins, and an encounter with a strange man at a jogging track. Though updates on this case have been scant, Rivera’s widow—and some Unsolved Mysteries viewers—believe he may have been murdered.

Because the case has been deemed “undetermined,” there is no official designation that his death was a homicide or suicide.

Why some believe the Rivera case is explainable

In July, Showbiz Cheat Sheet conducted an email interview with author Mikita Brottman who wrote the book the episode is based on. In An Unexplained Death: The True Story of a Body at the Belvedere, Brottman compiled 10 years’ worth of investigative information.

She lived in the hotel at the time of Rivera’s death and saw the hole from her window. Though Brottman was interviewed for three hours for the Netflix series, her input was not included in the final cut of the episode.

She told us that based on the location and size of the hole, it’s unlikely that Rivera was dropped from a helicopter. During her research, she spoke with a forensic physics expert who posited that based on velocity and the location of the hole, Rivera likely took a running jump. Why though?


‘Unsolved Mysteries’ Rey Rivera: Why the Helicopter Hole Theory Didn’t Work for Investigators

One of Rivera’s childhood friends told the Baltimore Sun he thinks he may have had mental health issues. Others have guessed that Rivera may have had a psychotic break. There’s no sure way to tell. And Porter Stansberry maintains that in spite of his portrayal in the show, he has no connection to his friend’s death.