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 Patricia A. Beaver on August 4, 2013 at 7:27pm

I can tell from Bob's photographs and stories that Panama City is a vibrant and cosmopolitan setting with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean from his condo. He's developed many close friendships and ties to the community over the past several years, and enjoys all the social amenities that come with retirement. If I lived in Coronado, about an hour from Panama City, I'd probably make frequent visits to the city to sample new cuisine, attend a sporting event, go to the theatre, or just meet friends for a drink. Bob has been able to enjoy the best of both worlds because he can take a break from the fast-paced life of Panama City to drive about two hours to Colon, on the Atlantic Ocean, where his sailboat is docked at the marina. He's getting closer to his dream of sailing around the world so we are all hoping that he'll get the chance to check off this box on his bucket list! Whether Bob and Ed ever met is difficult to say, but they may have some friends or associates in common: a realtor, a broker, a travel agent. In our search, we don't want to leave any stone unturned! We miss you, Bob!  

Comment by Jennifer Ehlert on August 4, 2013 at 5:21pm
Bob's condo is in P.C. His boat is in Shelter Bay Marina near Colon.
Comment by Louis Seldon on August 4, 2013 at 4:37pm

Is Mr. Ehlert's Panama condo in Colon or Panama City?

Comment by Louis Seldon on August 4, 2013 at 1:42pm

Ref " Did they have any common friends or business associates down in Panama?" I doubt they knew each other with Mr. Ehlert living on the Atlantic side & Moynan living near Coronado -- in Gorgona if I remember correctly  unless they met at a ExPat socials in P.C.?

Comment by Patricia A. Beaver on August 4, 2013 at 9:04am

These were my thoughts, too, Jeff. Did they have any common friends or business associates down in Panama? Were there favorite bars or restaurants that they frequented? Was there any forensic evidence that could provide leads? Bob's daughter passed along the information to the team investigating Bob's case to pursue possible answers to these questions. 

Comment by Jeff Dunsavage on August 3, 2013 at 11:36pm

Patty: The resemblance to Bob struck me as well. Given the other similarities, I think it is important that these stories be publicized together and in context. Could someone in Bob's family reach out to Ed Moynan's family? I'll be happy to help any way I can, but I think an actual family member might get a better result.

Comment by Patricia A. Beaver on August 3, 2013 at 9:35pm

When I glanced at the photo of Ed Moynan, a bit of a chill went down my spine. He looks a lot like Bob Ehlert but the similarities in this missing person case don't end there. Both are retired, successful businessmen, living about 54 miles apart in Panama. On the last day they were seen, all online and phone activity stopped. Their homes were found unlocked with minimal signs of foul play. Both men and their cars simply vanished. In March of 2013, the Moynan family received confirmation from Panamanian police that Ed Moynan had been the victim of a homicide. Our hearts go out to the Moynan family on this tragic loss! The shocking similarities in these cases, only three months apart, raises an immediate red flag with me. A delay in engagement by the Panamanian police on Bob Ehlert's case is alarming and suggests that there is a level of incompetence or potential corruption that compromises Expat safety in the Republic of Panama.

Comment by Louis Seldon on August 3, 2013 at 5:13pm

Mr. Ehlert's disappearance sounds very similar to the disappearance of a Canadian Ed Moynan last November in the beach community of Coronado, Panama. Information on Mr. Moynan's case can be found on the internet.

Comment by Patricia A. Beaver on August 2, 2013 at 6:00pm

Prior missing Expat stories from the region around the Republic of Panama are more widespread than the authorities will confirm. Many crimes have been documented by Don Winner who writes for We hope to get additional media attention for crimes against Expats so those who travel or hope to relocate to this area are fully aware about the potential dangers they may confront. Thank you, Louis, for your post! Leads on all prior cases will be explored!

Comment by Louis Seldon on August 2, 2013 at 5:21pm

If Mr. Ehlert, ExPat did go to Bocas del Toro know Yvonne Baldelli from San Diego has been missing from that area since last year & that an American "Wild Bill", William Dathan Holbert is awaiting sentencing for murdering ExPats in the Bocas area & stealing their valuables & identity.  Ms. Baldelli's boy friend returned to the U.S. shortly after her disapperance & got married.


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