Tepe, Ozgur Gundem's Bitlis correspondent, disappeared when he was reportedly forced to get into a car after he left his father's shop in the center of Bitlis. Although several teams of police were seen patrolling the streets at the time, they denied any knowledge of the incident. On July 29, a caller claimed that a group called the Ottoman Turkish Revenge Brigade was holding the journalist.
According to Amnesty International, on August 8, a body found in Lake Hazar, near the city of Elazig, was identified as being Tepe's. The cause of death was not determined. Tepe is said to have received death threats in the past.