FL FL - Robert Helphrey, 34, Palm Harbor, 21 May 2006

Discussion in '2000's Missing' started by Shadow205, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. Shadow205

    Shadow205 New Member

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    Robert Helphrey's disappearance has his parents, who already lost one child, reeling amid the uncertainty.

    Published July 10, 2006

    And then one night Robert Helphrey was just gone.

    It was May 21, a Sunday. Business was slow at Thirsty Marlin, the seafood house where Helphrey, 34, worked as general manager. He closed the bar about 12:30 a.m. - early by night shift standards - and joined two co-workers for a nightcap at Peggy O'Neills Irish Pub & Eatery across the street.

    A little more than an hour later, Helphrey told the others he was heading home, climbed into his grey Mitsubishi SUV and drove off toward his apartment on U.S. 19 in Palm Harbor.

    That was the last known sighting of Helphrey, a well-built, hard-working father of two girls, aged 8 and 3.

    "The car hasn't turned up; he hasn't turned up. ... There have not been any leads; there have not been any sightings." said Pinellas County Sheriff's Detective Michael Bailey. "Basically, he's dropped off the planet."

    Bailey said his unit handles about 150 missing person cases a year, but Helphrey's does not seem to fit any of the usual patterns.

    "Most of them, they're missing but they aren't really missing," Bailey said. "It just seems different. ... I don't think he just took off. Based on interviews, he doesn't seem like that kind of person."

    more at the link http://www.sptimes.com/2006/07/10/Northpinellas/A_sudden_puzzle__a_co.shtml
     
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  3. docwho3

    docwho3 New Member

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    I hope he turns up ok but at first glance this sounds almost like someone drove off into a lake, creek, pond, abandoned fishery or something similar. Any such things in the area?
     
  4. LinetteH

    LinetteH Loving life in Colorado

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    This was my first thought too. Did he cross any bridges on his usual route home?
     
  5. crypto6

    crypto6 New Member

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    Way down in the article, there's a line about his tag being run in Tampa, three days after he was last seen. That changes the complexion somewhat.
    It also says :
    But the trooper, they said, apparently did not make any notes, not even his name or ID number, and the computer is not capable of providing more information.
    Hard to believe this since all inquiries are logged as to time, computer station, and person signed on.(These guys get in trouble occasionallyfor running plates for some less-than-pristine reason; this is how they're caught)
    Either FL troopers are using 1970s equipment, or they don't want to release further info. Am thinking either they looked him over and the trooper didn't see enough to pull him over (a pull-over should have generated a report) or now they feel a car theft/carjacking has taken place and are keeping mum about letting a carjacker slip by them. Still, why the further secrecy?
     
  6. maiseyjane

    maiseyjane New Member

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    My thoughts and prayers are with the Helphrey family. I haven't seen them in a long time, but I knew them when I was growing up. I remember when Bob's sister passed away, it was such a difficult time for everyone.

    I haven't heard a lot about what is going on with Bob's case, so websleuth members, especially those in FL, please keep us posted if you hear anything. Thanks!
     
  7. docwho3

    docwho3 New Member

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    Thanks for the info. And that's why I said "at first glance". I had not yet read the linked article but only the websleuths short version in post one. It seems that more may yet turn up concerning this case.
     
  8. Sleuthster

    Sleuthster Well-Known Member

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    Did they ever find this guy? I checked the St Petersburg times archives and there was nothing more after about a week after his disapearance. I live by Palm Harbor and car jackings are highly unusual.
     
  9. Bobbisangel

    Bobbisangel New Member

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    I wish we would hear something...was he found or is he still missing? I wonder if his parents have decided to keep anything further out of the media?

    If this guy is still missing it is really sad. It doesn't sound to me like he would have just taken off to start a new life as that cop stated. Why would he leave his job and his daughters? He would have to know what it would do to his parents not knowing where he was. It just sounds like he was to responsible to do something like that.

    There have been a lot of case of foul play where the body hasn't been found to this day. There have also been case where the vehicle hasn't been found either. It sounds like that cop believes that he just took off to start a new life because there has been no sign of foul play and because his vehicle is still missing. What will he say when this young man turns up dead somewhere???????
     
  10. Sleuthster

    Sleuthster Well-Known Member

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  11. imamaze

    imamaze Former Member

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    The Charley Project
    Robert David Helphrey
    Missing since May 22, 2006 from Palm Harbor, Florida
    Endangered Missing
    Date of Birth: August 28, 1971
    34 years old
    5'11 190-220 pounds
    Caucasian male. Blond hair, blue eyes. Helphrey's nickname is Bob. He has a fence tattooed around his arm and a tasmanian devil tattooed on his ankle, and he may have a fish tattooed on the back of his shoulder.
    Clothing/Jewelry Description: Possibly a polo shirt with the words *Thirsty Marlin* printed on it, shorts and a leather necklace with a brown stone.

    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
    727-582-6200
     
  12. Sleuthster

    Sleuthster Well-Known Member

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    New story in news tonight
    http://www.wtsp.com/news/topstories/story.aspx?storyid=133054&catid=250

    Bob Helphrey wasn't the type of guy who would disappear without a trace.
    If he was going to be five minutes late, he'd call you an hour beforehand to let you know. He was responsible and a man of his word.
    When Bob told you something, he meant it.
    A Desert Storm war hero, Bob always lived a regimented life. His military background demanded it. Even when he came home stateside, Bob's habits followed him. He was always on time. He was organized, and people respected him for it.
    Bob often worked two jobs to make life comfortable for his girls. He was also being recruited to become an Army Ranger. To an outsider, Bob was as structured as they come.
    You can also visit the CrimeStoppers of Tampa Bay website at http://www.crimestoppersofpinellas.org/.

    Melanie Brooks, 10 Connects
     
  13. cluciano63

    cluciano63 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, how does a man and his truck vanish for this long? You would think his truck would have been found, even if under water...

    I hate that his friend would not cooperate with police...he must know it makes him look guilty-is he?? Is he going about his life as normal while Bob's parents and kids suffer??
     
  14. Sleuthster

    Sleuthster Well-Known Member

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    And it's probably a stupid reason IMO that he wouldnt let the police search his house, ie:weed or pills or something I'm thinking. Yet, it makes him suspect and throws the whole investigation towards him. If he didnt have anything to do with it then it has hindered them finding what happened to Robert Helphrey.
     
  15. Sleuthster

    Sleuthster Well-Known Member

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    BTW, there are 2 people missing from Palm Harbor and they both disapeared along with their cars.

    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/s/snouffer_brenda.html

    Palm Harbor is a sleepy little town on the West Coast of Florida. The biggest crime that happens here are dui deaths and kids breaking into cars.

    Both cases have always plaqued me. I mean are they related, individual cases, or did the earth just open up twice and take missing people and their cars???

    My father's really lost his marbles over the years, he's in a home now. But a few years ago he theorized that someone should search the canal that runs into Lake Tarpon from Palm Harbor for Brenda Snouffer's car. I'm beginning to think that's not a crazy idea. It's the one place you probably could put a car. Just like they find cars years later in canals on the East Coast of Fl.
     
  16. summer_breeze

    summer_breeze New Member

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  17. fasteddy8170

    fasteddy8170 Member

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    I live not far from where this happened. There are a couple things that strike as strange regarding the facts of the case.

    1. The Charley Project and elsewhere claim he left the bar at approximately 1:30am. Then, Robert called his friend at approximately 2am to meet him at Robert's apartment. The issue? At most it would've taken Robert 15 minutes to get from the bar to the apartment. So, what was he still doing out on the road at 2am? As a reminder, this area isn't Vegas where everything is open 24/7. He couldn't have stopped at a grocery store or some place like that. Even if he stopped to get gas--and even most gas stations aren't open at that time, he would've gotten home well before 2am. But . . . he was still out on the road.

    2. However, it would take about a half hour to get from the bar to downtown, which is where his license plate was allegedly seen a few days later by a state cop. Frankly, I'm not sure what to make of the cop entering the license plate into the computer. But my gut tells me it was probably something harmless. It could be the cop heard about the disappearance, found out the license plate number of Robert's car, and got curious. Who knows? In addition, it's hard for me to imagine some carjacker riding around in Robert's car for a few days with the real license plate on the back--that's just asking to get caught.

    3. Being that Robert was a veteran, it's easy to believe he might've had some kind of PTSD episode--very common these days among vets. I would guess it could be brought on by being really tired, especially if that's mixed with alcohol--no, I'm not saying he was drinking and driving. A similar story happened last year over in the Tampa area where a woman disappeared on the way home from a get-together in Ybor City. Eventually police discovered she drove off a boat ramp in a community and drowned--weed and alcohol were contributing factors to her being lost, the police said.

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/public...ideo-of-apryl-foster-before-her-death/2225090

    In Robert's case, this kind of "feels" like the same thing. Could he have been lost when he made that call to his friend at 2am and maybe was too afraid to admit it?

    I have a couple other suspicions and theories but I'll keep them under wraps for now.
     
  18. trisha_mc

    trisha_mc Member

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    This is so sad. Anyone know what his second job was? I managed restaurants for more than 10 years, and I usually worked at least 55-60 hrs a week and some jobs required 70+ hrs/wk. I really cannot imagine having a second job when being a restaurant GM is already like working 2 jobs! Poor guy must have been exhausted!

    Also, we restaurant folks always know which places in the area are open latest, since we often want to hang out after work like people with normal schedules. I remember I always had a 5AM rule where if I was still awake at 5am I would make myself go to bed. Before that rule, I was often up until breakfast time. But on Sunday nights, even bars that normally stay open late close earlier, so there are fewer places to go. On Sunday nights I noticed that no matter what time it was, it always felt like it was 2 hrs later, in so far as less traffic, darker streets due to businesses closing early, etc... .

    I had several weird things happen to me while driving home late from work, so even though all possible routes to his house have been checked, it is slightly possible that he deviated routes because of something spooking him a bit while driving home. This could have contributed to him getting lost or disoriented and then ending up in water or down a ravine. Add in the sleep issues and I really do not suspect foul play. I hope he is found one day so his parents, daughters and friends can finally have closure.
     

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