He had sent word he might go to court Tuesday to answer to the 338 code violations against his crumpling complex.
He didn't show.
This couldn't have been a complete surprise. The landlord, whose property is among south DeKalb's most talked about blighted, crime-addled developments, faces a bench warrant from when he skipped court in September.
On Tuesday, he actually had no hearing scheduled. It was unclear why he chose that day to come (or toy with the idea of coming).
But much about him is unclear.
Take, for instance, his name.
Residents, who said they stopped paying rent because the complex near I-20 was falling apart with trash piled high, knew him only as"Chester."
They said he was from New York, wore a yarmulke and only came around occasionally.
County officials first released his name as "Nisels Cheskel" in early September as outrage rose over the living conditions. Officialsspoke kindly of the man, who they said was cooperating with efforts to clean up the complex, where some residents didn't have power or water and squatters took hold.
On Wednesday, Butler said he didn't know how to reach Meisels.
The sheriff's office, which typically doesn't discuss fugitive investigations, declined to comment.
But the attorney can offer a glint of hope for anyone searching for the landlord.