March 7, 2008
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- A car belonging to a missing
couple was found Friday a few miles from the gated yacht community
where they live part time, but authorities said it yielded no clues
to their whereabouts.
John and Elizabeth Calvert were last seen Monday. When they
missed business meetings the next day, co-workers began to worry
about the typically punctual, active couple.
Police searched for their silver 2006 Mercedes for three days
before it was found about 3 a.m. Friday at a resort a few miles
from the Harbour Town Yacht Basin where the couple live, Beaufort
County Sheriff's Lieutenant Colonel Neil Baxley said.
Deputies didn't find anything in the car to help locate the
Calverts, he said.
Also Friday, authorities called off a search of the marina with
divers because of lightning. Baxley would not say why they wanted
to look in the water and released few other specifics about the
ongoing search, except to say that the FBI and state police had
also joined in the search.
"We're exploring everything and anything," he said.
"Everybody's got their eyes open and their ears open."
The Calverts have a home in Atlanta and lease and manage the
Harbour Town marina. Their management company also owns rental
units and other businesses on the resort island.
The car was found at a parking lot at the Palmetto Dunes resort,
but authorities would not say exactly where. The Calverts don't own
or manage property at Palmetto Dunes, said co-worker and friend
Gibus and others have been putting up fliers of the couple
across the 12-mile long barrier island. When John Calvert, 47,
missed a Tuesday meeting, Gibus knew something was awry.
"This is the kickoff of our season here on the island," said
Gibus, who along with other managers at Harbour Town had been
scheduled to meet with Calvert to plan promotions and budgeting for
the marina's busy upcoming season.
Elizabeth Calvert, 45, also is an attorney in Savannah, Ga. She
failed to report for meetings Tuesday at HunterMaclean, where she
specializes in employee benefits and executive compensation, said
John Tatum, the firm's managing partner. She previously had been a
corporate attorney for UPS in Atlanta.
Gibus said the management company of 15 employees is tight-knit.
As the hours have turned into days, Gibus said the panic level has
"We see these people everyday," Gibus said of the couple,
whose yacht is moored just outside his office window. "If they're
not up early reading the paper on the back deck or something, we're
concerned. ... After eight hours without hearing a peep, that's
enough for us to say, sound the bells, sound the alarm."
Gibus met the Calverts in 2005 and manages several of the
couple's companies on this slipper-shaped island filled with golf
resorts and vacation homes.
"It's not a place where you would assume that anything bad
could happen," Gibus said. "These are two incredible people, and
we need millions more like them."