FBI to probe missing trio

FBI to Probe Missing Trio

by Joe Warmington, November 21, 1994

Toronto Sun

copyright 1994 and 1995, The Toront o Sun, a

division of Sun Media Corporation



The Federal Bureau of Investigation has taken over the case of the “mysterious” disappearance of three Mississauga men in the Gulf of Mexico.

A special agent based in the Fort Myers area will be inspecting the Sea Esta, a 25-foot boat with two outboard motors, at a marina in Naples today.

The men, who had travelled to Florida for a weekend diving trip, vanished November 4, within minutes of the boat sinking about 100km off Marco Island.

The FBI takes the investigation from the U.S. Coast Guard, which recommended they come into it, a source said last night.

It’s unknown if lone survivor Jeff Wandich, 27, also of Mississauga, has been contacted for questioning.  Wandich said after he lost his friends he swam 10km. to a communications tower where he waited 36 hours before being rescued.

Capt. David Satterfield, who operates the salvage company which brought the boat to the surface, said the FBI has already talked with him once and have asked for a complete interview and a look at the boat this afternoon.

The massive search of the Gulf of Mexico for 25 year olds David Madott, Omar Shearer and Kent Munro is all but over but their families say their hope for a miracle lives on.

Even though an extensive coast guard and private search has turned up nothing, the family members still hope there is something that willl provide an explanation and positive ending to their “nightmare.”

With the search over, the families have shifted their energy to pursue leads to other reasons for the men’s disappearance.

“It still appears to be a mystery so it is possible something else has happened and they have been picked up or something,” David’s father Bill said last night.  “this may be a slim chance but we will pursue it with great vigor.”

It still hasn’t been determined how the boat, which has been retrieved and is in perfect condition, sank 30 metres to the bottom, to rest on a World War II wreck.

But Satterfield said he found it strange that the boat’s batteries had been manually turned to off.

FBI and coast guard officials call the case “puzzling” and “mysterious.”  Satterfield said in the biggest search in the gulf he can ever remember he’s pretty sure somebody would have found something.

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