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Entries in Missing (38)

Wednesday
Aug312011

Foot Washes Ashore in Canada, the 11th Since 2007

False Creek, with the Vancouver skyline in the background, is the latest location officials say a dismembered foot, complete with running shoe, was found. Liz Whitaker/The Image Bank (VANCOUVER) -- Another human foot has washed ashore in British Columbia, keeping investigators on their toes in the case of 11 mysterious feet in running shoes that have appeared on area beaches since 2007.

Eight feet have washed up around Vancouver and three feet have come ashore in nearby Washington State since 2007, according to Stephen Fonseca of the British Columbia Coroners Service. None of the cases have been deemed suspicious.

Fonseca said that human remains can come apart naturally in a water environment, and with the high amount of marine activity, beaches, and people involved in accidents in the water, it's likely that these are all unrelated cases. He also noted that there are many bridges over waterways in the area, and distraught people who may have jumped could also be a cause for the body parts washing up on shore.

"Running shoes of today are more buoyant," he said, "and it's a very rational explanation that when the feet do disarticulate, through marine scavenging and decomposition, the shoe will bring the foot back up to the surface and it will float there until it reaches shoreline."

The Coroners Service will try to build a profile of the person to whom the foot belonged through DNA testing as well as spatial and temporal profiles based on where and when the shoe arrived, how old the foot is, and when the running shoe was made, he said.

"When dealing with feet, we don't have the luxury of building up a very comprehensive profile, with blue eyes and blond hair. A 16-year-old could have the same size shoe as a 65-year-old," he said.

Fonseca and other coroners would be going over the foot to ensure that it was a human remain, and then would begin compiling information on what they called its "donor." The process could take weeks or months, at which time the data would be compared to missing persons lists, he said.

This foot was found in an inlet near False Creek, a protected body of water, he said, while other feet were found on beaches and nearby islands. He hoped the location of this foot would be helpful to determining its origin.

The investigators are still working to identify the donors of other feet, including a female who had two feet wash up on shore, and a male who had one foot wash up on shore.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug312011

Aruba Murder Suspect, Missing Woman Met on Swingers Site

Handout photo.(ORANJESTAD, Aruba) -- Gary Giordano and missing woman Robyn Gardner met online on the website "Adult Friend Finder," which describes itself as "the world's largest sex and swinger personals community," Gardner's friend told Aruban investigators.

Gardner has been missing since Aug. 2. She was last seen at a restaurant with Giordano, the prime suspect in her disappearance. He is in an Aruban jail, but has not been charged with a crime; a hearing is expected Tuesday to determine if there is enough evidence to hold him in jail for another 60 days.

ABC News reviewed witness statements given to Aruban investigators by Gardner's family and friends. A female friend of Gardner told investigators that Giordano, 50, and Gardner, 35, had previously planned a vacation together but Gardner backed out because of Giordano's "scary behavior."

Gardner's best friend and roommate told ABC News last month that Gary Giordano sent aggressive, angry texts to the missing Maryland woman when she backed out of the cruise.

"He was texting her while we were at breakfast, very angry at her because she decided she wasn't going to go on the cruise," Jones said on Aug. 11. "And his responses by text, which I don't feel comfortable repeating, were aggressive, harmful, something that doesn't sit right within myself."

Since Gardner disappeared, Giordano moved to redeem a reportedly $1.5 million insurance policy on Gardner. Witnesses and an Aruban Police report described him as uncooperative with investigators and eerily calm about Gardner's disappearance.

The witness statements also reveal more about Gardner. A friend and family member told police she was a "sneaky drinker," according to the witness statement.

Police also found Ambien, the sleep medication, prescribed to Gardner in the Marriott Hotel room where she was staying with Giordano. Giordano told police that he saw Gardner take a sleeping pill the day he claims they went snorkeling and she never returned.

Witnesses who saw Gardner the day she vanished described her as drunk and woozy.

The family member who told police she drank heavily said she was close to confronting Gardner about her allegedly excessive drinking.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug302011

Police Report: Aruba Murder Suspect Calm, Had Scratches on Throat

Handout Photo(ORANJESTAD, Aruba) -- In the police report filed by Aruban authorities investigating the disappearance of Robyn Gardner, witnesses described the prime suspect in her disappearance, Gary Giordano, as having a cut on his throat and said blood was on the beach.

Gardner was last seen alive on Aug. 2 at the Rum Reef Bar & Grill in the Baby Beach area of Aruba with Giordano. Giordano, 50, and Gardner, 35, had traveled to Aruba together. He is being held in an Aruban jail but could be released on Tuesday. Giordano claims that Gardner got swept out to sea when the two went snorkeling.

Three witnesses -- two women and a man -- told police that Giordano approached them on Aug. 2, saying, "Can you help me?  We were snorkeling and my girlfriend is missing."

One woman told police that while Giordano's sneakers were wet, his shorts were not.

"They were certainly not soaking wet because there was no water dripping from his pants.  In my opinion, the man was covered in sweat," she said in the police report.

She went on to tell police, "The only thing I had noticed was that the man was very calm."

The woman's friend told police, "What I thought was strange was that this man was not searching...I also noticed that he had a scratch on his throat.  It looked as if someone had scratched him with a nail."

A third witness, a man, also described Giordano's calm demeanor in the initial hours of Gardner's disappearance.

"In my opinion, the man was weird...weird, I mean that he should have cried or put pressure to find his girlfriend," he told police.

This same male witness told police that he saw blood on the beach, saying, "The spot was the size of the opening of a plastic cup.  I saw that the man had a cut on his right shin.  I immediately heard him say, 'No...that's my girlfriend, I wouldn't kill her.'"

When one of the female witnesses asked about the blood, Giordano told her, "No, no, we were not fighting.  We were cool all day, it was nothing like that," according to the police report.

ABC News also reviewed Giordano's statements to police.  He told police that he never argued with Gardner, saying, "We enjoyed each other...there was no reason to argue."

Giordano told police that when he lost sight of Gardner, he "tried to get someone's attention.  I tried to make as much noise as possible to raise the alarm.  I was scared and panicked.  I banged on the shutters to make noise."

Investigators replied by telling Giordano that surveillance video doesn't show him hurrying or panicked.

"I was completely exhausted," he told police.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug242011

Missing in Aruba: Woman's Boyfriends Clash over Her Last Hours

Courtesy of Richard Forester(ORANJESTAD, Aruba) -- On the last day she was seen alive, Robyn Gardner was groggy from sleeping pills, vodka and a meal when she went into the water in Aruba where she quickly cut her toe, forcing her out of the water, a source told ABC News.

But the 35-year-old Maryland woman ventured back into the water a second time, and that was when she was allegedly caught by treacherous currents, her companion Gary Giordano has told police, the source said.

Giordano's version of events emerged as doubt has been cast by witnesses in recent days that Gardner ever went into the water. A witness at the restaurant where the couple was last seen together expressed surprise at the claim that Gardner went snorkeling because of the obvious effort she had put into her hair and make-up that evening.

A second witness claims to have seen the couple stroll on the beach, but not enter the water.

Giordano, 50, is being held in an Aruban jail and is the lone suspect in Gardner's disappearance, although he has not been charged with a crime. Aruban police have said they believe Gardner is dead.

Giordano has previously stated that Gardner had taken sleeping pills earlier that day and the two drank vodka at the Marriott Hotel before showing up at the Rum Reef Bar & Grill in the Baby Beach area of the island on the Aug. 2 evening that she vanished.

People at the beachfront restaurant said she was woozy and barely ate her salad.

But the source said that she did go in the water, gashing her toe on her first attempt to go swimming. She retreated with her toe bleeding, and a spot of blood was found near where the couple's rental car had been parked, the source said. Forensics is still testing the blood.

The source also said that helicopters spotted two sharks and a giant sea turtle in the area about the same time that Gardner vanished.

Gardner's live-in boyfriend Robert Forester scoffed at the latest claims, telling ABC’s Good Morning America that Gardner was not the type to go swimming or to take sleeping pills.

"I've never known Robyn to take any sleeping pills in the middle of day, nor do I know why anybody would take sleeping pills during the middle of the day," Forester said.

"But let's go with his word here," Forester said of Giordano. "So you say she was taking sleeping pills, then you give her vodka? And then you take her snorkeling? Really? Why would anybody do that?"

"Obviously I don't believe anything he's saying," Forester said.

Investigators are also looking into Giordano's claim that Gardner took out a travel insurance policy for up to $1.5 million before the Aruba getaway and named Giordano the beneficiary of the policy.

The ABC News source says a witness was present when Gardner named Giordano as the beneficiary on the travel insurance policy, and that Gardner was fully coherent when she signed it.

Forester said that he is upset that the woman he was considering marrying was off an island tryst with another man.

"Am I angry that she was there with him? Of course. Do I ask myself why and what she was thinking? Yes," said Forester. "But I can't let that consume me. What does consume me is what we can we do to find her. What I'd like to see as soon as possible is a search with canines."

The last contact Forester had with Gardner, his girlfriend of more than two years, was a message from her around 3 p.m. on Aug. 2, saying, in part, "I love you, I care about you, we'll talk and sort this out when I get back."

The ABC News source says that message was sent with the intention of ending the relationship when she returned to Maryland, something Forester also disputes.

Photos taken of Gardner and Giordano just before she disappeared were obtained by ABC News Tuesday. They show her leaving the restaurant with Giordano. She is wearing a long dress that Forester said was her favorite dress.

The time stamp on the photo is 4:12 p.m. on Aug. 2. Surveillance video shows Giordano back at the restaurant at 6:02 p.m., trying to alert people that Gardner had vanished.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug112011

Aruba Requests FBI Help in Missing Woman Case

ABC News(ORANJESTAD, Aruba) -- Aruba is asking the FBI to obtain phone records and other personal history of the man being held as a suspect in the disappearance of Robyn Gardner, according to the Aruba prosecutor's office.

Gary Giordano, 50, is being held as a suspect in Gardner's disappearance, which he claims happened while the pair was snorkeling together in the same Aruba town where another American woman, Natalee Holloway, disappeared six years ago. Authorities arrested Giordano Friday as he was boarding a plane to the U.S., following statements he made to the police that seemed suspicious, police said.

The country has drafted a request to the FBI to ask for their help investigating the case in the U.S., according to Taco Stein, spokesperson for the prosecutor's office. Stein said they are looking for help getting information from third parties, including cell phone companies.

Aruba investigators are looking to establish the pair's whereabouts and activities in the days and hours leading up to Gardner's disappearance so that they can present it to a judge on Monday in order to keep Giordano in the country longer, Stein said. Giordano has not been charged with a crime, but a judge can order him held for another eight days on suspicion, Stein said. The court appearance will be closed to the public.

The Aruba police had been in contact with the FBI and American authorities since the beginning of the investigation, Stein said, though they had not formally requested their help until now.

Giordano's attorney in Aruba, Michael Lopez, said there is no evidence that supports a murder charge for his client.

Giordano was originally treated as a witness to a drowning and was told by police he was allowed to leave the island, according to Taco H.W. Stein, spokesperson for the Aruba prosecutor's office. However, when parts of Giordano's story did not add up, they decided to arrest him, Stein said. He was arrested Friday as he attempted to board a flight to the U.S., according to police.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul282011

Indonesia: Body Found of American Surfer and Teacher

32-year-old Daniel Bobis, went missing in Indonesia after surfing a 10 foot wave. (Courtesy Sean Pearsall)(JAKARTA, Indonesia) -- The body of missing American surfer Daniel Bobis has been found in Indonesia.

Local fisherman found the body of the New York teacher who disappeared on Sunday after surfing a 10-foot wave. On the Daniel Bobis Info Facebook page, Jamie Imerese wrote that Bobis' family was informed that a body had been found up the coast by a fisherman.

"They immediately traveled together in hopes that it was a coincidence. ... It was not. They positively identified Danny," Imerese wrote.

Family, friends and students have flooded the Facebook page with condolences messages for the family.

Helicopters, divers and boats had been searching Indonesian waters for Bobis, who disappeared while on a surfing vacation with his wife.

Bobis' surfboard washed ashore after he surfed a 10-foot wave. It is believed another surfer's board hit him when he came out of the wave's barrel.

His wife, Rachel Bobis, believed he would wash up farther down the beach and come back to their camp. When he didn't, she began to worry.

Rachel Bobis and a few others searched for the next 11 hours until rescue teams could reach the remote beach off the coast of West Lampung, Sumatra.

Daniel Bobis, 32, a math teacher at Long Beach High School in New York, had been passionate about surfing ever since he was a child.

On Facebook, Bobis' cousin Fernando Bobis thanked supporters for the comments and wrote about his cousin, "He was always a...glowing spirit while here with us on Earth. I imagine they must all be having to wear some serious shades up in Heaven where his spirit now glows even brighter. Thank you all for your heartfelt support, prayers & love, on behalf of the family."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul262011

American Surfer and Teacher Missing in Waters of Indonesia

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(SUMATRA, Indonesia) -- Helicopters, divers and boats are all searching Indonesian waters for an American surfer and teacher who disappeared Sunday while on a surfing vacation with his wife.

Daniel Bobis' surfboard washed ashore after he surfed a 10-foot wave. It is believed another surfer's board hit him when he came out of the wave's barrel.

His wife, Rachel Bobis, believed he would wash up farther down the beach and come back to their camp. When he didn't, she began to worry.

Rachel Bobis and a few others searched for the next 11 hours until rescue teams could reach the remote beach off the coast of West Lampung, Sumatra.

Daniel Bobis, 32, a math teacher at Long Beach High School in New York, has been passionate about surfing ever since he was a child.

"He's surfed countless huge spots all over the world. He's the first in the water, the last out. He'll surf for eight hours straight," said close friend Sean Pearsall, who met Bobis eight years ago while surfing.

Pearsall said his friend is a huge activist in the surfing community and this year established the first high school surf team in New York State, for which he serves as head coach.

Both Bobis and his wife have traveled all over the world looking for waves. "Surfing is their life," Pearsall said. But they were also ready for bigger things. "This was their last big trip, and they were planning on starting a family next year," Pearsall said.

Bobis' father and stepmother are reportedly on their way to Indonesia to help with the search as his family at home prays for his return.

His aunt Carmen Bobis said tearfully that her hope is that her nephew is "somewhere and we can reach him in time." A Facebook page titled "Daniel Bobis Info" has been created by friends and already has more than 3,000 followers.

Bobis' friends have also set up a PayPal account under the name DannyBobis@gmail.com for supporters to donate money to the search efforts.

Candlelight vigils for Bobis will be held Tuesday night in Long Beach, N.Y., and in Orlando, Fla., where Rachel Bobis is from.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul052011

Search Continues for Missing Men after Boat Capsizes off Mexico

U.S. Coast Guard/Chief Petty Officer Scott Cowan(SAN FELIPE, Mexico) -- Search and rescue teams are scouring the Sea of Cortez by boat and helicopter in a continuing effort to locate the U.S. tourists who are still missing following the sinking of a charter boat off the coast of Mexico.

The U.S. Coast Guard told ABC News it will extend the search area for survivors along with the Mexican Navy. According to Petty Officer Pamela Boehland, the Coast Guard will use larger aircraft for their search efforts on Tuesday that are capable of covering greater distances. The USCG expects to be up in the air over the Sea of Cortez around 10:30a PST.

One man has been confirmed dead, and seven others are still missing -- among them six Americans and one Mexican crew member, according to Mexican officials.  The identity of the dead man has not been released, but he was an American.

The boat, carrying a total of 44 passengers and crew, capsized early Sunday when it was hit by two giant waves, according to Capt. Benjamin Pineda Gomez.  Twenty-seven Americans and 16 crew members were on board the 115-foot-catamaran, which was called the Erik and was operated by the tourism company Baja Fishing.

The vessel was supposed to take the group and crew on a week-long vacation -- an annual Fourth of July outing for a group of friends from Northern California -- but it was caught in a thunderstorm and capsized around 2:30 a.m., about 60 miles south of San Felipe.

The Mexican Navy says there was no mayday call, so for more than 12 hours no one was aware of the situation.  The Navy added that the ship's cook was instrumental in alerting authorities that the boat had gone down after being rescued by a fisherman.

The rescue operation also began after a second local fisherman spotted some survivors at sea.

"When the vessel sank it was close enough to shore that some people were able to swim to shore," said Boehland.  "Other people were picked up by good Samaritan vessels that were in the area.  Others were rescued by the Mexican Navy."

Among the rescued was American Lee Ikegami, who was on a fishing trip with his buddies.  Ikegami spoke to his wife from a hotel, where crews were taking the rescued.

"Somewhere around 10ish last night my husband called and said his boat capsized and that he is fine … I was in shock," Murphy Ikegami, Lee Ikegami's wife, told ABC News.

"All I know is at that time he was not in contact with any of his friends and didn't know how they were.  He was at one end of the boat and was thrown into the sea," she added.

Lee Ikegami says he still has no idea what happened to his friends.

U.S. Consulate General in Tijuana, Mexico released a statement saying their staff had met with all surviving Americans at a hotel in San Felipe and they were working with Mexican officials to provide return transportation back to the U.S. for the American survivors.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul042011

Fishing Tour Boat Capsizes Off Baja Peninsula

Photos.com/Jupiterimages(ALAMEDA, Calif.) -- One person is dead and at least seven others are missing after a chartered fishing boat capsized off Mexico's Baja California peninsula during a storm, authorities said Monday.

The roughly 100-foot-long boat, a catamaran called the Erik operated by the tourism company Baja Fishing, was carrying 44 people on board, including 27 Americans, when it was caught in a thunderstorm and capsized around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Coast Guard Petty Officer Pamela Boehland said from Alameda, Calif.

"When the vessel sank it was close enough to shore that some people were able to swim to shore," Boehland said. "Other people were picked up by good Samaritan vessels that were in the area. Others were rescued by the Mexican Navy."

The Mexican Navy says one American died in the tragic incident.

The U.S. Coast Guard, which is assisting the Mexican Navy, launched a helicopter from San Diego, Calif. to help search for the missing early Monday.

The U.S. State Department issued a statement saying that staff from the U.S. Consulate General Tijuana Tijuana met with all of the surviving Americans, and that U.S. officials are working with Mexican officials to arrange for the surviving Americans to be transported back to the U.S.

According to an Internet advertisement, the Erik has been operating in the Sea of Cortez since 1989 and can sleep up to 42 guests.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul042011

NATO Soldier Goes Missing in Afghanistan

NATO

UPDATE: The British Ministry of Defense has confirmed that the soldier was British, and that he has been found dead. Officials say ISAF forces found the soldier’s dead body, which bore gunshot wounds.

 

(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- A soldier from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) coalition has gone missing in Afghanistan.

The ISAF issued a press release Monday saying that one of its service members “has been listed as duty status whereabouts unknown in southern Afghanistan.”

Officials say an active search is in progress, in attempts to locate the missing soldier.

Meanwhile, the Taliban is claiming that they have captured and killed the missing soldier in Helmand province. This has not been confirmed by NATO officials.

Details about the soldier’s identity weren’t released.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio