Search For Missing Man Turns To South Carolina

Published: November 07, 2014 at 12:00 am


In their longstanding effort to find a missing Sandy Hook man, town police are probing a tip they received which indicates that the man may be working at a restaurant in the Myrtle Beach, S.C., area.

Myrtle Beach is a tourism center that has a subtropical climate and extensive beaches on the Atlantic Coast known as the Grand Strand.

Since late July 2013, Robert Hoagland of Glen Road has been missing. Mr Hoagland was 50 years old when he mysteriously disappeared, leaving his relatives and police puzzled about his departure and current whereabouts.

Newtown Police Detective Lieutenant Richard Robinson said October 31, “We are following up a tip that was received in reference to the possible whereabouts of Robert Hoagland.

“This was not a sighting, but a tip of a possible location and possible source of income,” Det Lt Robinson said.

“As with any tip, we are investigating it with the aid of local [South Carolina] law enforcement partners,” he added.

“No information as of yet has been received to support this tip,” Det Lt Robinson said.

He later added, “We have followed up on numerous tips,” adding “some have been disproven, some are unfounded, and some remain unproven,” he said.

“This tip is very general, and thus will be unproven unless it is proven with a verified law enforcement contact,” Det Lt Robinson said.

“We cannot say how long it may be before it’s known whether Mr Hoagland is [in South Carolina] or not,” he said.

In an effort to find Mr Hoagland, the Horry County, S.C., Police Department has posted information on his “missing person” status on its Facebook page.

The posting includes several photos of Mr Hoagland, as well as some text describing his appearance and the circumstances of his departure from Newtown. The posting seeks the public’s help in locating the missing man. 

To more broadly publicize his disappearance, Newtown police from late August to late September advertised their search for the missing man on large electronic and conventional billboards posted along the heavily-traveled Interstate 95 corridor in the Bridgeport area.

Mr Hoagland had formerly worked in that area as a real estate appraiser.

Those billboards’ presence resulted in one tip from the public concerning Mr Hoagland’s whereabouts, which was later ruled out of consideration, based on surveillance video evidence, according to Det Lt Robinson.

In July, police investigated a possible sighting of Mr Hoagland as a visitor at the Putnam County Correctional Facility in Carmel, N.Y., but video evidence proved inconclusive.

Also, last winter a report of a sighting of Mr Hoagland at a Savers store in Brookfield, which was recorded on video surveillance equipment, proved inconclusive.

Police have said they have no clear evidence of any crime having been committed in connection with Mr Hoagland’s disappearance, and also have no clear evidence of his whereabouts.

On Monday, July 29, 2013, Mr Hoagland was reported missing by his wife, Lori, when he failed to show up at Kennedy Airport in New York City to pick her up following her trip overseas.

Mr Hoagland had last been seen at his Glen Road home at about noon on Sunday, July 28, 2013.

He was reported as a missing person to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System data-base on August 7, 2013.

Police have said that media reports of Mr Hoagland’s disappearance resulted in tips that produced several investigatory leads in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

In late July at Fairfield Hills, the family and friends of Mr Hoagland formally marked the first anniversary of his disappearance.

People with information on the whereabouts of Mr Hoagland are asked to call the Newtown police at 203-426-5841.

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