Life jackets and religious texts were found aboard a missing South Florida oil tycoon's boat after it ran aground, but Guma Aguiar had left his watch and wedding ring at home, according to notes taken by a U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue team.
The notes offer new details about Aguiar, whose boat was last seen speeding and jumping waves hours before it washed ashore with its engines running June 19 in Fort Lauderdale. Police found no blood on the boat and no evidence of foul play.
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Notes compiled by several officers during the 48-hour air-and-sea search for Aguiar were obtained by the Sun Sentinel through a Freedom of Information Act request.
According to the "watchstander" logs based on interviews and investigators' notes, Aguiar was seen on camera "leaving his house with a purpose" and getting on a boat.
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Aguiar was "not in a good frame of mind" due to financial problems, and he had had an argument with his wife "over divorce," according to the notes. He left his watch and wedding ring at home.
The notes, though, don't prove that Aguiar planned a suicide, Cmdr. Darren Caprara tells the Sun Sentinel.
"We don't truly know where something went wrong," Caprara said. "We ask hundreds of questions to try and get any small detail to aid our search. What we are really trying to get to is what he could have done out there."
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All the life jackets on Aguiar's boat were accounted for, and investigators searching the 31-foot boat also found a leather box containing Jewish religious texts, according to the notes.
"I can only speculate that when he left the house, he was upset and took things that gave him solace," said Aguiar's mother, Ellen Aguiar.
GPS data showed that the boat never came to a complete stop in the Atlantic Ocean and travelled about three nautical miles from shore. Police said Aguiar's top speed was 31 miles per hour on rough seas before abruptly dropping speed 20 minutes later and changing direction, eventually coming ashore.
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Family members have said Aguiar suffered from mental illness. He made a fortune in 2006 when the Texas-based energy company he ran with his uncle was sold for a reported $2.5 billion, but he's been locked in a legal battle with his uncle for several years.
Fort Lauderdale police still consider Aguiar a missing person case.