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Store video shows missing Phoenix man

February 21, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Deputies hope surveillance video just released may give them clues to solve the mysterious disappearance of an Arizona businessman. Divers are also searching the water in Dana Point Harbor.Orange County Sheriff's deputies say surveillance video from a Target store shows the missing man and another man they call a "person of interest." The two men were seen in a sailboat they had purchased together in Dana Point before the Phoenix man went missing.

Divers are searching five different spots in and around Dana Point Harbor. The water is cold, the visibility is poor. It's down to about a foot. Authorities aren't saying exactly what they're looking for in the water, other than they're looking for several items. This comes after the person of interest in this case was re-interviewed Wednesday night.

Seven o'clock Friday night at a Target store in Aliso Viejo. Surveillance video shows Bob Vendrick wearing a white shirt to the left, the last known pictures of the 71-year-old before he disappeared last week. A receipt shows he bought a windbreaker.

Wearing black, leaning against a shopping cart containing several items, Gary Shawkey can be seen on the video, Vendrick's 44-year-old business partner and a person of interest in the case, interviewed twice by authorities.

"Without getting specific, he is basically is saying he does not know where he is at," said Orange County Sheriff's Dept. Spokesman Jim Amormino.

The two left the Target store in a blue rented vehicle. The vehicle was located days later near a dock in Dana Point, not far from the hotel where Vendrick left behind clothes and medication.

Inside the vehicle, a list of things was found, including cable, a blanket and a generator.

Authorities confirm the two bought a 23-foot sailboat and went for a ride, leaving Dana Point.

"They were on the boat for a relatively short period of time Saturday morning," said Amormino. "And from there, we're not exactly sure what happened."

Divers searched Thursday in five spots in and around Dana Point Harbor looking for several undisclosed items. Authorities also won't say how the sailboat ended up 30 miles away in Long Beach.

"I don't care about the money, I just want him back," said Fred Vendrick, Bob Vendrick's brother. Fred gave Bob $40,000 Friday, wiring it to Shawkey's account. It was supposed to help close a secret government deal that brought Phoenix resident Bob Vendrick to Dana Point.

Vendrick's family said Bob was supposed to go to San Clemente Island to pick up $1.2 million after investing more than a million.

Shawkey, a Virginia resident, runs several Internet-based companies. Authorities say he is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission for his alleged moneymaking schemes.

Authorities ask for the public's help: If you saw Bob Vendrick or Gary Shawkey on the sailboat or in Dana Point last weekend, authorities would like to talk to you. Please call the Orange County Sheriff's Dept. at (714) 628-7170.

 

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