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Found Deceased FL - George "Skip" Zelaya, 61, Homosassa, 13 Jan 2005

Discussion in 'Located Persons Discussion' started by Kelly, Feb 4, 2005.

  1. Kelly

    Kelly Founder, Project Jason

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    http://www.theyaremissed.org/gallery/photos/A200502430S_2461.jpg

    Name: George Robert Zelaya

    Classification: Endangered Missing Adult
    Alias / Nickname: Skip
    Date of Birth: May 22, 1943
    Date Missing: January 13, 2005
    From City/State: Homosassa, FL
    Missing From (Country): USA
    Age at Time of Disapperance: 61
    Gender: Male
    Race: White
    Height: 70 inches
    Weight: 150 pounds
    Hair Color: Brown
    Hair (Other): Gray at temples
    Eye Color: Brown
    Complexion: Medium

    Glasses/Contacts Description: Reading glasses.
    Identifying Characteristics: Growth on left pinky finger, minor scars on hands and arms.

    Jewelry: Silver "Timex" watch.

    Circumstances of Disappearance: Unknown. George was last seen at approximately 6:00pm at his residence in the vicinity of the 5700 block of S. Seotter Path in Homosassa, FL. His white, four door, 1988 Lincoln sedan was located the following day at a shopping center off of Hwy 19 in Homosassa, FL.

    Investigative Agency: Citrus County Sheriff's Office
    Phone: (352) 726-4488
    Investigative Case #: 05010575


    http://sptimes.com/

    Search on for Homosassa man, 61
    By Times Staff Writer
    Published January 29, 2005

    HOMOSASSA - Authorities are searching for a missing Homosassa man. George "Skip" Zelaya, 61, of 5711 Sea Otter Path, was last seen Jan. 13, when he left his home in the early morning, according to investigators.

    His former wife, Paula Zelaya, began to worry about his safety when she saw his car abandoned in the Publix parking lot on U.S. 19 in Homosassa, she told authorities. George Zelaya stands 5 feet 9. He is white and weighs about 130 pounds. His hair and eyes are brown and he is clean shaven. Anyone with information about Zelaya's whereabout is asked to call 911 or 726-1121. An anonymous tips line is also available at 1-888-269-8477.


    Kelly Jolkowski, Mother of Missing Jason Jolkowski
    President and Founder,
    Project Jason
    http://www.projectjason.org
     
  2. Kelly

    Kelly Founder, Project Jason

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  3. WasBlind

    WasBlind Former Member

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    George's NCMA profile

    With prayers of HOPE for George, Lanie
     
  4. WasBlind

    WasBlind Former Member

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    *I'm posting this for Kelly Jolkowski*

    http://sptimes.com/2005/01/29/Citrus/Search_on_for_Homosas.shtml

    Search on for Homosassa man, 61
    By Times Staff Writer
    Published January 29, 2005

    HOMOSASSA - Authorities are searching for a missing Homosassa man. George "Skip" Zelaya, 61, of 5711 Sea Otter Path, was last seen Jan. 13, when he left his home in the early morning, according to investigators.

    His former wife, Paula Zelaya, began to worry about his safety when she saw his car abandoned in the Publix parking lot on U.S. 19 in Homosassa, she told authorities. George Zelaya stands 5 feet 9. He is white and weighs about 130 pounds. His hair and eyes are brown and he is clean shaven. Anyone with information about Zelaya's whereabout is asked to call 911 or 726-1121. An anonymous tips line is also available at 1-888-269-8477.
     
  5. WasBlind

    WasBlind Former Member

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    http://www.baynews9.com/content/36/2005/3/3/73383.html

    Without a trace
    Thursday, March 3, 2005

    The computer is a tool of hope in Joe Zelaya's search for his missing 61-year-old brother, Skip.

    Skip Zelaya's disappearance, while unrelated to the Jessica Lunsford case, has some striking similarities in the eyes of investigators.

    "Usually, you find some kind of evidence that they might have did something bad to themselves or they just moved away and wanted to go on with their life," said Gary Atchison with the Citrus County Sheriff's Office. "This is kind of like our case here with young Jessica, [in] that there's no evidence or either that he did something terrible to himself or that he went off and wanted another life."

    Several days after his Jan. 13 disappearance, Skip Zelaya's car was found abandoned outside the Publix grocery store in Homosassa.

    Skip's ex-wife, Paula Zelaya, says they were living together, trying to reconcile. She admits they still had some problems, but were also still very much in love. His disappearance is very upsetting to their five children.

    "Oh, they're devastated," said Paula Zelaya. "They don't think he would just up and leave and really, I don't either. But I don't really know what to think anymore. He sent everything. To his brother, his license. That's when I thought he probably killed himself. He sent him his license and gave him some checks and told him to deposit them into his account. He left all his clothes, left all his vehicles, left all his belongings."

    Skip Zelaya's children live out of state, but have visited Citrus County to speak to local law enforcement. They insist their father is a family man who would never disappear without a trace.

    Zelaya is described as a clean-shaven white male with brown eyes and brown hair, 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighing about 130 pounds, according to the Citrus County Chronicle.

    Anyone with information about Zelaya's disappearance is asked to contact the Citrus County Sheriff's Office.
     
  6. WasBlind

    WasBlind Former Member

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    http://www.chronicleonline.com/articles/2005/02/27/columns/fables_and_foibles/news953.txt

    Family puzzled after man disappears
    By Steve Arthur

    Did 61-year-old Skip Zelaya just pick up and leave his life here, did he kill himself, or was he a victim of some undisclosed foul play? Read on and decide for yourself.

    Skip Zelaya went missing Jan. 13, and since then his family has been fearful and frustrated, not knowing what has become of him.

    His family gathered here on Friday from distant cities to have their pleas for community assistance broadcast through the help of television station WYKE in Lecanto.

    Citrus Sheriff's Detective Gary Atchison says he and his agency have worked hard to find Zelaya, but have developed no more leads.

    "I walked the area around where his vehicle was found for two days. Then I brought out the cadaver dogs. We've used the helicopter. Posters have been put up."

    He said the sheriff's dive team was going to search the canal behind Zelaya's house, until the mysterious and troubling disappearance of 9-year-old Jessica Marie Lunsford, also of Homosassa, focused the attention of this county and the nation on her disappearance.

    When a 61-year-old man goes missing for no apparent reason, questions are naturally raised. When he's been gone for more than a month, those who know him think about the puzzle all the time.

    Joe Zelaya is worried about the welfare of his brother Skip, whose full name is George Robert Zelaya. Also worried are Zelaya's children.

    His wife, Paula Zelaya, told deputies she last saw him that morning, leaving his home at 5711 Sea Otter Path in Homosassa.

    Is it possible Skip Zelaya took his own life in some out-of-the-way place?

    His brother Joe says no; his brother would never do that, especially not to his children.

    "He was a proud person, he would never do that."

    Did he decide to just disappear and take up another identity?

    Soon after his brother's absence was noted, Joe Zelaya said he received an envelope containing Skip's driver's license, some checks and a bankcard posted to his address. It was post-dated the day after his disappearance. Included was a note about their shared bank account, a note that concluded simply: "Sorry, Skip."

    Joe Zelaya said his brother also filled out a change-of-mailing-address card Jan. 14, forwarding Skip's mail to his own home.

    The Skip skipping scenario bothers his family members.

    Daughter Kathleen said all the scenarios have gone through her head, but she refuses to believe her father would put her and the rest of her family through the pain of not knowing his fate. "I believe something bad has happened to him."

    Joe Zelaya said: "If he walked he wouldn't have left without any money in his pocket, with no watch or cell phone. He wouldn't do that. He wouldn't have left his tools in his truck."

    He said his brother had accumulated debts of about $100,000, but said those debts wouldn't cause him to disappear.

    "He was comfortable with the payments; that wouldn't be the reason," Zelaya said.

    Susan Zelaya, Skip's daughter who lives and works in the Washington, D.C., area, says she doesn't know what to think.

    She said she and some her siblings consulted a psychic in California over the telephone; they were told by that seer that Skip Zelaya was no longer living on this plane of existence.

    She doesn't know what to think.

    "I think there was foul play, but I have no proof," Joe Zelaya said Monday.

    Skip Zelaya has been described as a clean-shaven white male with brown eyes and brown hair, 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighing about...
     
  7. kitty

    kitty New Member

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    From what I've heard, Homosassa is a pretty small town. And now two people from this small town go missing within a month of each other? How unnerving. :(
     
  8. CaliKid

    CaliKid Former Member

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    Lots of information on Jessica Lunsford, but did they ever locate this man?
     
  9. Kelly

    Kelly Founder, Project Jason

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    Message from the Family:

    "We, the ZELAYA FAMILY, have started a reward /investigative fund in hopes of finding our missing father, " GEORGE ROBERT "SKIP" ZELAYA". This is a tragedy that has affected all family members since January 13th, 2005.

    To all that may know his children, Michael, Jennifer, Elizabeth, Kathleen and Susan, and to all that may know his brother, Joe "Sandy" Zelaya and sister, Maria Papanicolas, and to all that are concerned about missing people, please make a tax-deductible donation, on behalf of our father, so that we may find him and bring him home.


    If you can help us and would like to donate, please mail a check to:
    VICTIMS RIGHTS FOUNDATION.ORG
    814 WEST DIAMOND AVE. SUITE 200
    GAITHERSBURG, MD. 20878
    ATTN: GEORGE ZELAYA FUND

    OR

    ONLINE AT: WWW.VICTIMSRIGHTSFOUNDATION.ORG
    GO TO DONATIONS.
    GO TO DONATE NOW, AGAIN
    FILL OUT YOUR DONATION AMOUNT AND DESIGNATE "GEORGE ZELAYA FUND"


    EACH DONATION IS GREATLY APPRECIATED AND WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN, AS OUR FATHER NEVER WILL BE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR DONATION,
    THE ENTIRE ZELAYA FAMILY"
     
  10. Kelly

    Kelly Founder, Project Jason

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    From the family:

    "We, the Zelaya Family, along with Mr. Gregory Wims of the Victim's Rights Foundation will be holding a press conference and a vigil June 3rd at 3:00 pm in the Publix shopping center, where his car was found, off of Hwy. 19 in Homosassa, FL. At that time we will post a reward, in the hopes of someone coming forward with information in helping us find out what has happened to our Father. Please join us if you can."

    Family website: www.findgeorgeskipzelaya.com
     
  11. CaliKid

    CaliKid Former Member

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    Did anyone see the press conference about Mr. Zelaya? If so, what's the news?
     
  12. Kelly

    Kelly Founder, Project Jason

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    http://www.sptimes.com

    Kin, friends share hopes for missing man
    His relatives design T-shirts and a Web site in their quest for answers.

    By ABBIE VANSICKLE
    Published June 4, 2005


    HOMOSASSA - About a dozen people stood in the spitting rain near the biggest known clue to the whereabouts of George "Skip" Zelaya.

    It was Friday afternoon, and Zelaya's relatives and friends gathered in the parking lot of Publix on U.S. 19 in Homosassa. A few pointed to the spot where Zelaya's 1988 white Lincoln was found in mid January.

    None has heard from him since.

    "He has five kids," said Eileen Zelaya, 39, one of his daughters, who lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. "I don't think he would just walk away."

    The Zelaya family is desperate for information about the missing man, a 62-year-old whose youthful face and dark brown hair make him appear years younger. His relatives have set up a Web site at http://findgeorgeskipzelaya.com to help them find him. They've offered $2,500 for information. The Victims' Rights Foundation, a Maryland nonprofit, is working with the family.

    They've made T-shirts. A photograph on the front shows a smiling man with a striped red shirt. On the back is a Bible verse: "Nothing shall be hid that shall not be revealed; Matt 10:26." The verse hints at the family's suspicion that someone knows something about what happened to him.

    "Who goes to hide to commit suicide?" asked his brother, Joe Zelaya, 63, also of Homosassa.

    Joe Zelaya was the only family member at Friday's meeting to have heard anything from his brother, he said. A few days after the car was found, Joe Zelaya received a note in the mail from his brother. It had information about a bank account and was signed, "Sorry, Skip," he said. But the ZIP code was wrong, he said, and the note raised more questions than it answered.

    "All I've got is suspicions and questions," he said.

    Zelaya was last seen about 6 p.m. Jan. 13 at his home on the 5700 block of S Sea Otter Path in Homosassa, according to the Web site. His former wife, Paula, said she saw his abandoned car later at Publix, according to family members and the Citrus County Sheriff's Office.

    The Sheriff's Office released information in January about his disappearance, but it seemed scant information was available.

    Zelaya, a handyman and electrician, lived with Paula Zelaya at the time of his disappearance, according to the family. She could not be reached for comment.

    Zelaya was last seen wearing jeans, a long-sleeve dress shirt and work boots, according to the Web site. Zelaya was lured to Citrus by the hope of working at the Crystal River nuclear power plant, his children said. When that dream didn't come true, he worked odd jobs.

    The Web site is full of personal details about Zelaya. He enjoys watching football and cheers for the Washington Redskins. He smokes nonfilter Camel cigarettes and drinks Budweiser beer and orange juice with rum on the rocks.

    Anyone with information about Zelaya's whereabouts is asked to call 911 or 726-1121. An anonymous tip line is also available at 1-888-269-8477.



    http://www.chronicleonline.com/

    Family clings to hope; Man missing since January
    By Ashley Sorrell


    With T-shirts displaying a beloved father and brother's picture, tears in their eyes and grief evident in their faces, the family of George Robert "Skip" Zelaya pleaded for anyone with information concerning his whereabouts to contact the Citrus County Sheriff's Office.

    Zelaya was reported missing on Jan. 13, 2005, and his family, with the help of the Victims' Rights Foundation, is now offering a $2,500 reward for anyone with information about his disappearance.

    His disappearance had a profound effect on his children.

    "It's been the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my life," Zelaya's daughter, Elizabeth Zelaya, said. "Literally, the most pain I've ever felt."

    Elizabeth Zelaya said it is not like her father to disappear without contacting his children.

    "He had a lot of pride and cared a lot about his children. He was always a family man," she said.

    She said she still has hope he will be found.

    "We are all just trying to hang in there, but it consumes every thought you have," Elizabeth Zelaya said.

    That sentiment is echoed among Skip Zelaya's friends.

    In recent months, speculation has shrouded the disappearance of Zelaya.

    Susan Zelaya, Skip Zelaya's youngest daughter, said she hopes people with information concerning her father will come forward and rumors surrounding his disappearance will stop.

    Susan Zelaya said despite speculation, her father has not been found and has not contacted any of his children.

    Kathleen Zelaya, another of his daughters, said not knowing the whereabouts of her father is like having a broken heart.

    "My dad was a best friend of mine," she said. "For me not to know where the person I love most in the world is just breaks my heart."

    Through the months, Kathleen Zelaya has lost hope of her father's survival.

    "If he hasn't contacted his children, he is dead," she said.

    His son, Michael Zelaya, said he suspects foul play, but is still looking for the answers to many unanswered questions.

    Michael Zelaya said he does not believe any of the speculation surrounding his father's disappearance.

    There has been speculation that Skip Zelaya disappeared because of debt, or perhaps committed suicide.

    "None of them make sense to me," Michael Zelaya said. "He's not the type to let anything bother him."

    This is the second time the family, who are from the Washington suburbs around Maryland and Virginia, have returned to Homosassa to announce the need for information concerning Zelaya's disappearance.

    The family said they want to find him, dead or alive.

    The sheriff's office has stepped up its investigation and is actively trying to find Zelaya.

    The family thinks it might be too late. They said the 6-month delay might have greatly compromised the case.

    Joe Zelaya said he still hopes his brother is found, but does not think he is still alive.

    Skip Zelaya is a white male, 5 feet, 9 inches tall and 130 pounds, with brown and gray hair and brown eyes. He was last seen at 6 p.m. on Jan. 13 at his residence in the vicinity of the 5700 block of South Sea Otter Path, Homosassa.

    His white, four-door, 1988 Lincoln sedan was found Jan. 14 at a shopping center off U.S. 19 in Homosassa.

    Anyone with information concerning his whereabouts or disappearance is urged to call the sheriff's office at 726-1121.
     
  13. lady-eowyn

    lady-eowyn New Member

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    How puzzling this one is....and yet we have hardly heard a thing about it around here. It seems like at the same time there was another elderly man who went missing in St. Petersburg, but for the life of me I cannot remember his name to do a search on it.
     
  14. jodierenee

    jodierenee websleuth addict

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    what does everyone this about this one?


    I'm kinda confused as to the letter that was mailed to his son...of course that leads to suicide...but then there was something about the zip code being wrong..

    maybe he got mixed up into something and had to go away or into hiding..maybe someone MADE him send that to his brother...to make it LOOK like a suicide...and he changed the zip code on purpose to send a red flag...

    i dunno...me and my conspiracy theories.. :eek:
     
  15. Susan Zelaya

    Susan Zelaya New Member

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    The letter was sent to his brother not his son. The zip code was wrong which is strange because my father has the same zip code as his brother and has had it for many many years.

    As far as we know my father wasn't "mixed up in anything". He was a very set in his ways kind of person. This thing is all so strange and I have gone through many therories in my head. But what I always come back to is that my father had five children that love him and he would have NEVER walked away from us.
     
  16. CaliKid

    CaliKid Former Member

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    Susan, this must be so hard for you and your family. My father died almost three years ago, and I miss him terribly. I am praying that your father is found soon in good health, and this is all a misunderstanding of some sort.
     
  17. Susan Zelaya

    Susan Zelaya New Member

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    Thank you so much for you prayers. I am sorry to hear about your father. I miss my father terribly as well, life just isn't the same without him.

    If you haven't seen his website yet I ask that you please visit it. There are pictures and thoughts from the family. There is also every article that has been writen about his disapperance. It is www.findgeorgeskipzelaya.com

    Thank you again for your prayers they mean so much to my family and I.
     
  18. Sheromom

    Sheromom New Member

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    Susan, Welcome to Websleuths and thank you for adding this information. Your father is a very handsome man and has such a gentle look to him. This case has disturbed me as there just doesn't seem to be enough media attention. I agree that it is very unlikely he would just move off without even telling his children. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers; hoping for a happy resolution.
     
  19. CaliKid

    CaliKid Former Member

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    Your father does not look 61. Blessings and prayers.
     
  20. Susan Zelaya

    Susan Zelaya New Member

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    Thank you so much for all your thoughts and prayers. May God bless you.
     

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