Officials searching for missing millionaire boater
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Authorities are searching for a well-known multimillionaire after his boat washed ashore on a South Florida beach.
Officials are searching for 35-year-old Guma Aguiar.
Officials said Aguiar's 31-foot boat was found aground on Fort Lauderdale Beach with its navigation lights lit and engines still running at around 2 a.m., Wednesday. Aguiar went out on sea at approximately 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, officials said.
Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Travis Mandell called Aguiar's decision to travel out to see at that time odd. "With the inclement weather as it was and the rip currents being so strong as they were, it doesn't make sense to us," he said, "so we're trying to figure out what led him to go on the vessel and traveling out to such treacherous seas."
According to the US Coast Guard, the boat was still upright when it was found.
No one inside the multimillionaire's Fort Lauderdale mansion wanted to speak with 7 News.
Born in Brazil, Aguiar is very wealthy; he sponsors an Israeli football team, and he owns several homes across the globe. At one point, Aguiar's wife committed him for psychiatric help. "I knew from the minute I was set up, that I was being framed, and that I was being followed and that people were trying to hurt me," Aguiar said in 2009.
Aguiar also has been arrested in South Florida three times since 2009. He once accused deputies of abusing him during a drug arrest, and in each arrest, police said, Aguiar was arrogant and combative. Back in October 2009, Jim Leljedal of the Broward Sheriff's Office said, "He has threatened me. He has threatened everybody that he comes in contact with. He tells them that he has a lot of money and that he will get them fired."
Rabbi Moishe Lipszyc of the Chabad Lubavitch of Fort Lauderdale was devastated by the news of Aguiar's disappearance. Aguiar attends his synagogue. "I went running in the middle of the night to where the boat was found, and I was sitting there praying and watching the Coast Guard do their work," he said.
Rabbi Lipszyc said the father of four has had his problems in the past, but Aguiar has a good heart and is extremely generous, and even made a donation to his synagogue. According to Lipszyc, he has been receiving texts from people around the world who are asking for Aguiar's Hebrew name and his mother's name, so they can offer prayers on their behalf. "From going to visit people in the hospital, sick people that nobody knew about, helping people that they never knew, supporting families, everything," said Lipszyc. "We pray that he's totally OK, and with God's help, he'll be found safe."
The Coast Guard, Broward County Sheriff's Office, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Fort Lauderdale Police continue to search for Aguiar. "We're all out there, coordinating a search of the waterways, as well as the ocean, to try to locate if he's possibly in the water. We had officers scouring the beach on ATVs, searching if he may have come ashore there," Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Travis Mandell said. "Anything's possible at this point, and investigators are pursuing all leads, so we're hoping that if anyone out there has seen Mr. Aguiar, to please contact their local law enforcement [agency]."
If you have any information on Aguiar's whereabouts, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
(Copyright 2012 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)