Thursday, March 6, 2008

Harbour Town Yacht Basin Owners Missing

Thursday March 6, 2008
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

ABC News is reporting that Harbour Town Yacht Basin owners John Calvert, 47, and his wife Elizabeth, 45, have not been seen since Monday March 3, 2008 after a late afternoon business meeting.


A search of their yacht “Yellow Jacket” and a home in Atlanta have turned up no evidence of foul play, but also no indication that those places had been visited since Monday.


Photo: Members of the Beaufort County Sheriff's Department use a K-9 to search the dock around the boat of the missing couple Thursday afternoon. Credit: Jonathan Dyer/The Island Packet

John Calvert failed to meet his employees for a morning meeting on Tuesday and his wife Elizabeth Calvert, a tax attorney in Savannah, also never arrived at work.

In Hilton Head the couple normally stays aboard their 45-foot motor yacht named Yellow Jacket. The boat is reportedly tied up and secure, in its normal slip at the Harbor Town marina. ABC news is reporting that it does not appear that the couple slept aboard the boat on Monday night and that they left behind their dog and a cat but that nothing seems to be missing.

What is missing is their silver 2006 Mercedes E320 with Georgia tags, but the vehicle's GPS system is not activated and calls to the Calvert’s' phones go directly to voice mail.

The Beaufort Gazette is quoting Sheriff P.J. Tanner that the disappearance is "raising eyebrows" and that he would not rule out that the couple may have been victims of a crime.


Friday March 7, 2008

The Beaufort Gazette is reporting:

The Mercedes belonging to John and Elizabeth Calvert was found in a parking lot in Palmetto Dunes early this morning, but the car contained no clues to their whereabouts, the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office said.

The car was found in a commercial parking lot in the Hilton Head Island resort. The Sheriff's Office would not say which lot it was because it is part of the ongoing investigation, Lt. Col. Neil Baxley said. Nothing was found in or around the car that provided new information on the case, the Sheriff's Office said. The car was found at 3 a.m. after a search of every parking lot on the island. The car was impounded and searched throroughly, the Sheriff's Office said.

A dive team was scheduled to search Harbour Town Yacht Basin this morning, but the effort was rescheduled for Saturday due to the weather, Sheriff P.J. Tanner said.

The Calverts were last seen Monday night and were reported missing when they didn't show up for business obligations Tuesday morning. John Calvert, 47, owns the company that manages the yacht basin and Harbour Town Resorts, which has 125 rental properties. Elizabeth Calvert, 45, is a Savannah business attorney at HunterMaclean, the state's largest law firm outside Atlanta. The couple live part of the time in Atlanta and part-time on a boat, Yellow Jacket, docked in Harbour Town.

Authorities say they're still not able to say a crime has occurred with the disappearance.

Additional Coverage:

Beaufort Gazette
Hilton Head Island Packet

Chris’ personal note:

I answered my cell phone on Thursday night, calling was a polite reporter with the Island Packet. The line of questioning was not surprising, he wanted to know if I could think of any odd or strange business dealings the Calvert's might have had. The thinking behind this at least by someone doesn't know John or Liz is understandable, but as far as I'm concerned it's also going in the wrong direction.

I'm quoted in the Friday addition of the Island Packet as follows:

Chris McIntire, who runs a charter yacht called "Southern Comfort" that passes through Harbour Town a few times per year, said John Calvert was always there to offer a hand.

"He's like the world's nicest guy," McIntire said. "He'd always stop somewhere to help somebody."

As I explained to the reporter I only know John from a business relationship around the marina, but I regret my use of the word "like" besides my valley speak error, John is not "like" he "is" the world's nicest person.

I’m surprised that the Charleston Post and Courier has not picked up this story. I’ve known John for several years and he’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, the kind of person who has never met a stranger. Like most boaters John's always ready to help anyone who asks.

If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of John and Liz Calvert please contact the Beaufort County Sheriff’s office at 843) 842-4111 or call 911.

John Calvert is 47 and 5 feet 6 inches tall with blue eyes and grey hair. Liz Calvert 45 and is 5 feet 4 inches tall with brown eyes and brown hair possibly last driving their silver 2006 Mercedes E320 with Georgia tag GT821B.


  1. Four Attorneys, a King, a Solicitor and Dennis Gerwing

    Attorney Dan Saxon
    Attorney Peter J. Strauss
    Mark King, President of The Club Group
    Attorney Charles A. Scarminach
    Attorney Cory Fleming, Criminal Defense
    Solictor Duffie Stone
    Dennis Gerwing, CFO of the Club Group - Deceased

    “Dan Saxon, an attorney who represents “The Club Group” and had previously served as Dennis Gerwing’s attorney until the matter escalated outside of his firm’s expertise”. There are two operative words here, one is “previously” represented Gerwing and the other is “represents the Club Group”.

    "Dan Saxon’s Hilton Head law firm, Novit & Scarminach, referred Dennis Gerwing to a criminal defense attorney, Cory Fleming of Beaufort". AMAZING? “The two (Saxon and Gerwing) last spoke Monday”, Saxon said.

    “On Monday afternoon, Cory Fleming called Dan Saxon’ Law firm (Novit & Scarminach) when he was unable to reach Dennis Gerwing, said Attorney Chuck Scarminach”.

    "Attorney Dan Saxon and another Attorney Peter J. Strauss of (Novit & Scarminach), went to the villa where Gerwing was staying. They called Mark King, president of The Club Group, which manages the complex, to unlock the villa when no one answered the door".

    “The three(Saxon, Strauss, and King) entered and encountered another locked door upstairs, said Scarminach, who wasn’t with them. They then called 911 when they heard no response”.

    “Cory Fleming, the defense attorney, said Wednesday that he continues to represent Gerwing”. “His law firm is cooperating with authorities “to the extent we’re allowed to under the law,” said Fleming.

    “What interesting is that Criminal Defense Attorney Cory Fleming of Beaufort continues to represent Gerwing”. REALLY? Surely by now, someone has told Attorney Fleming that Mr. Gerwing is deceased. Given that Fleming was unable to reach Gerwing on Monday, it’s unclear if Fleming even has authorization to represent deceased Gerwing or his estate at this point. Does Fleming have some kind of signed Power of Attorney or some other legal document signed by Gerwing that authorizes Fleming to continue to represent Gerwing?

    “14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone said he is receiving frequent briefings on the case and is providing legal advice to investigators”. Is this normal? You have a Solicitor receiving briefings on an ongoing investigation by FBI, SLED, BCSO? Is this normal for a Solicitor to give ongoing legal advice to the FBI, SLED, and BCSO during an investigation?

    “The Club Group” lawyer(s) on Monday and this whole Criminal Defense Attorney Fleming thing happening and calling and speaking to the “Law Firm” yet never speaking with his client on Monday? WHAT? THIS MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL!

    For Attorney Saxon and the Novit & Scarminach Law Firm to supposedly hand over their client Dennis Gerwing to Attorney Fleming is bizzarro-weirdo. Also, you can bet that Fleming just might exercise his Attorney-Client Privilege which may in turn impede the investigation. It’s worth looking into to see if he actually has that privilege. The fact that Fleming was called in by “The Firm” that represents the “The Club Group” speaks volumes about this case.

    Also, WHY DID Attorney Dan Saxon, Attorney Peter J. Strauss, and Mark King go into Dennis Gerwing's Condo KNOWING THAT HE WAS A "PERSON OF INTEREST"?


    Four Attorney’s, a King, a Solictor and Dennis Gerwing

    "not cooperating" then "the extent we’re allowed under the law"
    BCSO said:
    "Mr. Gerwing has retained the services of counsel and is not cooperating with the Sheriff's Office in this ongoing investigation".

    “Cory Fleming, the defense attorney, said Wednesday that he continues to represent Gerwing”.

    “His law firm is cooperating with authorities “to the extent we’re allowed to under the law,” said Fleming.

    “to the extent we’re allowed to under the law,” Very clever!

    You is really interesting that it turns out that Cory Fleming is Dennis Gerwing's Attorney...that's REALLY becomes even more interesting that he is almost insistent that he continue to represent him after his demise.

    And Fleming is going to represent him “to the extent we’re allowed to under the law,” what a nice guy that Fleming is. WOW! What a nice guy! Just to show us how much of a nice guy Fleming is, he is going to do all of this even after "not cooperating with the Sheriff's Office in this ongoing investigation" from the beginning.

    Fleming is going from "NO COOPERATION" to what he is allowed to under the law. I have to tell you, Attorney Saxon sent Gerwing to the right guy(Fleming). Fleming is Mr. No Cooperation


    "Authorities are treating it as a self-inflicted death"?

    "His body had a gash across his inner thigh, according to the Sheriff's Office, and multiple knife wounds to the chest, a source told The State.

    "Authorities are treating it as a self-inflicted death, though they acknowledge the circumstances of the apparent suicide are odd, The State reported".


    a self-inflicted death? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

    ...OMG! Someone please help us!


    "Investigators are in a holding pattern, he said, awaiting analysis of two handwritten notes found with Gerwing's body. As of yet, they're not sure whether they were written by Gerwing".

    "But Tanner did confirm that authorities consider Gerwing's death a suicide".

    "We don't suggest anything other than that," he said.

    On one hand, Sheriff Tanner confirms that they consider Gerwing's death a suicide and on the other hand they're not sure whether the handwritten notes were written by Gerwing. Go figure?