"We were really concerned and thought we would go ahead and get the word to local [TV] stations," says Liisa Gardner, a member of Diversity's board and designated media spokeswoman.
It didn't help that the city was full of rumors and speculation, on edge from a deadly beginning to the new year.
But the report never made it on television. Then, Thursday night, Klein reappeared at Diversity's Thursday night bingo, at the Jamaica Club on Route 1 in Henrico County. He was first spotted at 11 but not before a torrent of e-mails and concerned phone calls reverberated through Richmond's gay and lesbian community.
"I know that he had taken a few days off because of the holidays," Gardner says. "But I don't think I've ever seen him take off for four days in a row.
And then he popped back into town Thursday night."
As of Jan. 9, he had yet to report back to work. And the case is officially closed, Richmond Police spokeswoman Cynthia Price says. Klein, however, couldn't be reached by press time. And no one seemed to be sure when he would return to Diversity Thrift, which is in the process of moving to a Sherwood Avenue location that is triple the size of the Cary Street location.
"He just needed a long, extended break," says Eugene Robinson, a local Web developer and board member at Diversity Thrift. "The pressures of the job had gotten to him."