The Missing Americans Project

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Robert C. Ehlert (Bob) ~ Missing in the Republic of Panama


Robert C. Ehlert (Bob) ~ Missing in the Republic of Panama

~~ Bob was last seen leaving Shelter Bay Marina near Panama City in the Republic of Panama, on June 21, 2013. Both Bob and his car are missing.

~~ Family members across the USA have been contacting government officials to get support for FBI involvement in a search effort for Bob. 

~~ He left a note, letting friends know that he would be gone for two weeks to explore a property deal in Bocas del Toro. Since the note was a forgery, we now think that Bob may have been kidnapped.

~~ For the last 10 years, Bob has spent half the year in Panama and the other half in Minnesota. Missing person reports have been filed in both places and family representatives are now in Panama to follow up in person with the American Embassy and local authorities.

~~ Phone inquiries are not always helpful and barriers to information pop up at every turn. We are most concerned that Bob’s e-mail and phone connectivity went silent on June 21, 2013. Staying connected to family and friends is something that Bob cherishes the most. 

~~ Bob is a Vietnam Veteran who served his country during the peak period of the war. Now, it is our hope, that the U.S. will give back to Bob by helping the embassy and local authorities lead a search effort to sort out Bob’s disappearance.

~~ Bob is optimistic and has a zest for living that is contagious. He has been pursuing a lifelong dream of sailing around the world and using the land to grow native crops. We are all thinking the worst but holding on to a glimmer of hope that he has an opportunity to fulfill those dreams.

Location: Friends & Family in USA & Abroad
Members: 37
Latest Activity: Jun 26, 2017

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Comment by Sue Humble on November 22, 2013 at 5:42pm

Thinking of Mariah and the whole Ehlert Family.

Comment by Louis Seldon on November 22, 2013 at 5:19pm

Prayers for all of you & Bob during this holiday.

Comment by Jeff Dunsavage on November 22, 2013 at 3:51pm

He's in our thoughts for sure. Please keep the positive energy coming for all our families with loved ones missing in the U.S. and abroad. Holidays are a particularly difficult time.

Comment by Patricia A. Beaver on November 16, 2013 at 10:39am

It’s been almost 5 months since Bob Ehlert disappeared without a trace from his condo in Panama. Senator McCain’s office followed up on his case with the American Embassy in Panama on behalf of the family. The Embassy responded by saying that Bob’s case is still open and that they are working closely with the Panamanian authorities and the FBI on the investigation. A private investigator, hired by the family to augment the work by authorities, has not uncovered any new substantive leads on Bob’s disappearance. Please burn a candle for Bob at your Thanksgiving festivities as a gesture of support for his safe return. 

Comment by Patricia A. Beaver on October 9, 2013 at 6:41pm

Just a note to let you know that the investigation in Panama is still progressing. Bob's daughter, Mariah Ehlert, posted a note that read, "Real life Private Investigators are vastly different than how they work on TV; and cases certainly don't all get solved in a neat little hour!" She is wading through over 100 pages of Panamanian Police reports on Bob's case. A Private Investigator on the ground in Panama has tried to do a deep dive into some of the leads that were dismissed or not fully examined by the local authorities. Although weeks have turned into months, the family remains hopeful that some leads will provide answers about Bob's disappearance.

Comment by Patricia A. Beaver on September 16, 2013 at 9:54am

Try this link, in case the last one doesn't work, or cut-and-paste it into your browser:

Comment by Patricia A. Beaver on September 16, 2013 at 9:49am

An article on Bob's case, written by editor, Dan Shearer, appeared in Saturday's paper (9/14/13), the GREEN VALLEY NEWS & SUN. Madeline Ehlert, Bob's sister-in-law and resident of Green Valley, was interviewed to get details about the case. Lessons that we can all use are highlighted in this article:

From the Editor: A man goes missing in Panama 

Comment by Patricia A. Beaver on September 15, 2013 at 11:20am

Bob’s daughter, Mariah Ehlert, posted updates to her social networks this past week about the status of the investigation. She wanted to convey heartfelt thanks to everyone for sending messages to the Vice President and state Senators, and she added, “Our message is getting through! I’m so impressed at the power of the people on this day.” Mariah was contacted by the U.S. State Department ACS officer for Panama, William Hurst, who made inquiries on her behalf. The good news/bad news story is that Vice President Biden will not be putting Bob’s case on the agenda for his trip to Panama. This bad news, however, is tempered by the good news that Panama President Martinelli is aware of the case and has personally asked the DIJ to make it a priority. Mariah believes that the more attention the case gets, the more the wheels will squeak to keep authorities engaged in efforts to bring Bob home safely.

Mr. Hurst has let Mariah know that friends and family have helped do everything possible to get the government involved in the case in Panama. The Panamanian Police do not give updates on open cases until they are finished with the investigation. Since the President of Panama, Martinelli, has personally asked for updates from the police, we can be assured that they are making it a priority. Mr. Hurst explained a bit more about how the U.S. FBI and FBI counterpart, the U.S. Embassy Legal Attaché in Panama, work with local authorities to share all the resources at their disposal for investigations. At this time, Mr. Hurst let Mariah know that they have not uncovered any evidence of foul play.

Comment by Ginni Kitchen on September 8, 2013 at 12:08am

Excellent article in the Denver paper. I sent a letter requesting help to VP Biden too. Hope it does some good.

Comment by Patricia A. Beaver on September 6, 2013 at 8:51am

Try this link to the Boulder Weekly article or cut-and-paste it into a new browser, if the one in the last post does not work.

"Denver resident continues to search for her father..." by James Dziezynski


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