The Coast Guard suspended its search Thursday night for a missing Fort Lauderdale millionaire whose boat was found washed ashore earlier this week as police released new details surrounding his disappearance.
Rescue crews suspended their search for 33-year-old Guma Aguiar around 9 p.m. after spending more than 70 hours searching by sea and air.
The search covered an area of 1,523 square miles, an area roughly the size of Rhode Island, officials said. Two Coast Guard cutters, a rescue helicopter, a patrol aircraft, several boat crews and authorities from the Broward Sheriff's Office, Fort Lauderdale Police Department and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission all contributed to the search.
"The Coast Guard and our partner agencies searched tirelessly despite inclement weather in hopes to find Aguiar," Capt. Todd Lutes, 7th Coast Guard District chief, said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones."
Aguiar was last seen Tuesday night, and his boat the 31-foot TT Zion, was found washed ashore with its lights on and engine running in the 300 block of South Atlantic Boulevard early Wednesday, police said.
On Friday, police released surveillance footage from Aguiar's home which showed him climbing onto his boat and motoring off at about 6:57 p.m. Tuesday.
Police said Aguiar was by himself when he boarded his boat and left the dock alone, and detectives have found no evidence to show anyone else was on the boat.
No blood or signs of trauma were found on the boat, just Aguiar's personal belongings, police said.
Police are still investigating why Aguiar decided to embark into such inclement weather and what happened on the boat leading up to the vessel being beached.
Aguiar, a Brazilian-born businessman and philanthropist, 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 has been locked in a contentious legal battle with his uncle over money.
His mother, Ellen Aguiar, on Thursday filed to become guardian of his more than $75 million fortune, which includes $35 million in Israeli real estate, $15 million in cash, a $2 million yacht and seven cars worth more than $1 million.
Aguiar suffers from severe bipolar disorder and "may be in a delusion state or be suffering from psychosis or otherwise may have disappeared at sea," according to court documents.
His wife's attorneys said they were horrified by Ellen Aguiar's attempts to gain control of the estate, saying it has only added to the family's stress.
"She files motions in courts trying to take over everything while the divers are still out looking for Guma's body," said attorney Bill Scherer. "It's bizarre."
He planned to respond to her motion, but said everything is premature right now.
Anyone with information is asked to call Fort Lauderdale Police at 954-828-5700.