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Assumed Deceased: Robert Lee Vendrick - CA - 02/18/2008


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#1 Deborah

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 07:23 PM

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Mystery of missing investor deepens after boat turns up
Feb. 21, 2008

Kimberly Edds and Salvador Hernandez - The Orange County Register

Issue date: 2/21/08

DANA POINT, Calif. _ There were two men aboard the 23-foot sailboat when it sailed out of Dana Point Harbor for what was supposed to be a quick trip on the high seas to close a business deal. Only one man came back with the boat. What happened on the open seas remains a mystery.

Authorities are desperately trying to find the missing man, a 71-year-old retired computer programmer from Phoenix who traveled to Southern California on Friday with visions of finally cashing in on a get-rich software investment to the tune of $1.2 million.

His investment partner, a Virginia man, turned himself in to authorities Tuesday after showing up with the boat and without his partner.

He has been named a person of interest.

The vanishing of Robert Lee Vendrick is a tale of money, intrigue and deception, and one that has not yet worked itself to a conclusion as U.S. Coast Guard crews scanned the ocean Wednesday for signs of the missing man.

Authorities spent Tuesday searching for Shawkey, a self-proclaimed entrepreneur, motivational speaker and married father of two teenage boys, hoping to find clues to Vendrick's mysterious disappearance. But it was Shawkey who called Long Beach, Calif., police about 8 p.m. Tuesday and wanted to talk, authorities said.

During hours of questioning by sheriff's investigators, Shawkey said he and Vendrick sailed out of Dana Point on their newly purchased boat, Odyssey, said Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino. And Shawkey was the one who sailed the boat to Long Beach, without Vendrick, Amormino said.

But what authorities are still trying to figure out is what happened to Vendrick and why.

"It is a really suspicious story," Amormino said. "He said he just doesn't know where he is."

Shawkey tried to rent a permanent berth for the Odyssey but was turned down because he was not listed as the boat's registered owner, Amormino said. Shawkey docked the tiny sailboat in a temporary mooring and wandered around Long Beach before calling police, authorities said.

Vendrick and Shawkey are both listed on the purchasing receipt of the Odyssey, bought from a San Clemente, Calif., man. Shawkey took possession of the boat Feb. 14. The next day, Vendrick touched down at the Long Beach Airport, rented a car and made the short drive to Dana Point.

He told family members he was going with Shawkey to San Clemente Island to meet some "highly placed government people" to sign the papers on a computer programming contract.

It was Shawkey who lured Vendrick to California with promises of a cut of a federal government contract and fortune, according to Vendrick's younger brother Fred. But to secure the contract and convince them that the venture was viable, Vendrick needed to have $100,000 in an account at a Laguna Niguel Wells Fargo Bank.

Bob Vendrick wired $60,000 to the bank and persuaded his brother to wire $40,000 to the same bank. Fred Vendrick sent the money.

"It was stupid, I know, but I did it," Fred Vendrick said. The account where the money was deposited, authorities said, belongs to Shawkey.

Deputies found a roaring fireplace in Vendrick's second-floor room at the Dana Point Marina Inn on Monday night. Vendrick's suitcase, laptop and diabetes medication were all inside the room. Vendrick was gone.

Sheriff's investigators expect to have the Odyssey towed to the Orange County crime lab in Santa Ana, Calif., on Thursday to comb it for clues. The Odyssey's previous owner is not connected to Vendrick's disappearance, Amormino said.

Shawkey, who runs several Internet-based companies with his wife, Stephanie, is the target of numerous complaints of ripping off true believers in get-rich-quick schemes and children's charities. He is the author of "If I Can ... Anybody Can."

Shawkey was released after questioning.
Deborah Cox, Volunteer
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#2 Deborah

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 07:27 PM

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ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF-CORONER DEPARTMENTSPECIAL BULLETINP.O. BOX 449, SANTA ANA, CA 92702 PHONE (714) 647-7000 (714) 647-7055 / 24 hrs (714) 628-7170 ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT - HOMICIDE/MISSING PERSONS DETAIL CASE #08-019418 FCN #3730803200118 Bulletin Date: 2/22/2008 ENDANGERED MISSING PERSON

NAME: Robert Lee Vendrick DESCRIPTION: Male, Caucasian, 6’00”, 180 Lbs., Grey hair, hazel eyes, DOB 1/30/37

NAME: Gary A. Shawkey DESCRIPTION: Male, Caucasion, 5’7”, 200+ Lbs., Brown hair, DOB 9/21/63 (LOCATED 2/19/08)

DETAILS BELOW

On Monday, 2/18/08, at about 8:20 P.M. deputies conducted a welfare check at the Marina Inn, located in the city of Dana Point in an attempt to locate Mr. Vendrick. Mr. Vendrick is a resident of Phoenix, Arizona who came to Orange County on February 15, 2008, to meet an investment partner Gary A. Shawkey. According to family members he was to take a boat from an unknown location to San Clemente Island to close a business deal that would yield a large sum of money. Mr. Vendrick’s personal belongings were found in his hotel room along with his medication. Mr. Vendrick is a diabetic and may be in the need of medical attention.

The investigation has revealed that Mr. Vendrick and Shawkey purchased a 23’ South Coast Sailboat, CF6896EC, named the “Odyessy” (Located 2/19/08).  Mr. Vendrick’s rental vehicle has been located in the Dana Point Harbor area. Mr. Vendrick is missing and his whereabouts are unknown.

Mr. Shawkey was located and interviewed on Tuesday, February 19, 2008. Investigators are now
requesting anyone who may have seen Mr. Vendrick, Mr. Shawkey, or the sailboat the “Odyessy” on Saturday, February 16, 2008, is asked to contact investigators at numbers provided below.
Deborah Cox, Volunteer
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#3 Deborah

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 07:30 PM

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Divers Suspend Search For Missing Man At Dana Point

POSTED: 4:57 pm PST February 19, 2008
UPDATED: 9:27 am PST February 22, 2008

DANA POINT, Calif. -- Divers searched two miles of Dana Point Harbor on Thursday but found no trace of a 71-year-old Arizona man who came to the area to cash in on what he thought was a $1 million deal, according to the sheriff's department.

"We finished," said Jim Amormino of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. "We didn't find anything."

Robert Lee Vendrick of Phoenix, who arrived in the Southland on Friday and rented a car at the Long Beach Airport, was reported missing by his wife when he failed to come home.

Vendrick was involved in what he believed was a software venture with self-proclaimed marketing guru Gary Shawkey, who is a "person of interest" in the disappearance, Amormino said.  

Vendrick wired $60,000 to a Laguna Niguel Wells Fargo branch as part of the deal, while his brother, Fred, said he wired $40,000 to the same bank to help complete the deal but that he was skeptical of Shawkey.

Shawkey, who lives in Virginia, has been questioned but not arrested, Amormino said.

He was questioned again Wednesday night and was staying in the area, but is free to leave, although, "hopefully he'll stick around until our investigation is completed," Amormino said.

Investigators believe Shawkey told Vendrick they were going to San Clemente Island -- which is controlled by the U.S. military -- to meet with "highly placed" government officials, Amormino said.

Shawkey and Vendrick left Dana Point on a 23-foot sailboat, the Odyssey, that the two recently bought, Amormino said.

"We do know that Saturday morning, Vendrick and Shawkey did go out on the boat," Amormino said, but where they went was unknown.

The boat turned up at a guest slip in Long Beach, and the U.S. Coast Guard helped search the waters between there and Dana Point, Amormino said.

Sheriff's detectives also searched the boat for evidence.

Police found all of his belongings, including diabetes medicine and a laptop computer, Monday night at the Marina Inn in Dana Point, where Vendrick had been staying. They also found the blue Chrysler PT Cruiser he rented when he arrived.

Police have released surveillance tape that shows Vendrick and Shawkey shopping.

The video shows both men inside an Aliso Viejo Target store, where Vendrick purchased a jacket. In the video, Vendrick and Shawkey can be seen exiting the store with a shopping cart full of items. Another camera captured the men loading the purchases into a PT Cruiser and driving away. Vendrick was behind the wheel.

The divers searched five areas in Dana Point Harbor for about three hours, but Amormino declined to say why those areas were selected.

"I can't get into why those areas are being searched," Amormino said.

Amormino said visibility was only 18 inches in the water, which is about 1,015 feet deep in that area.

Investigators would not rule out more searches if their investigation takes them there, Amormino said.

Shawkey, who bills himself as an entrepreneur, has written books with titles such as "If I Can ... Anybody Can."
Deborah Cox, Volunteer
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#4 Deborah

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 07:31 PM

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Person of interest says he returned partner to Dana harbor

By KIMBERLY EDDS
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

DANA POINT - A motivational speaker from Virginia told investigators he took his business partner back to Dana Point Harbor after the 71-year-old Phoenix man had a change of heart during a boat trip to cash in on a get-rich-scheme.

Gary A. Shawkey said he continued on alone, sailing the 23-foot sailboat to Long Beach, unaware of the fate of his partner, Robert Lee Vendrick.

Vendrick has been missing since Saturday, a day after he arrived in Southern California to meet with Shawkey and "highly placed government officials" to receive a $1.2million return on his software programming investment.

Sheriff's investigators believe Vendrick and Shawkey sailed out of Dana Point between 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. Feb. 16, said sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino.

Sailboats maneuvering into the private dock routinely draw complaints to the Sheriff's Harbor Patrol, but there were no complaints about the sailboat making its way back to the dock Feb. 16.

Vendrick had no sailing experience but was listed on the sailboat's purchase receipt.
Deborah Cox, Volunteer
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#5 Deborah

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 07:34 PM

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Friday, March 7, 2008

Person of interest in missing investor case leaves state

Motivational speaker heads to Florida for bike week to search for missing man, authorities say.

By KIMBERLY EDDS
The Orange County Register

DANA POINT - A motivational speaker named as a person of interest in the disappearance of his business partner after a boat trip last month has left California to attend a bikers' week in Florida, "to look for the missing man," authorities said Friday.

Sheriff's Department officials said they cannot keep Gary A. Shawkey, 44, of Virginia from leaving Orange County while they continue to hunt for his investment partner, Robert Vendrick, a 71-year-old diabetic from Phoenix.

Vendrick has been missing since Feb. 16, a day after he arrived in Southern California to meet with Shawkey and "highly placed government officials" to receive a $1.2 million return on his software programming investment.

Shawkey told investigators a few days ago that he was headed to Daytona Beach, Fla., to attend an annual motorcycle rider pilgrimage, and that he planned to search for his missing partner at the event, said Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino. The week, known for wild parties and big motorcycle rides, runs from Feb. 29 to March 9. After that, Shawkey planned to return to his home in Virginia, where he lives with his wife and two teenage sons, Amormino said.

Sheriff's investigators believe Vendrick and Shawkey sailed out of Dana Point between 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. Feb. 16 for what Vendrick believed was a trip to cash in on their get-rich-quick scheme.

But Shawkey said Vendrick had a change of heart during the trip, and Shawkey told investigators he returned the older man to shore. Shawkey said he continued on alone, sailing the 23-foot sailboat to Long Beach, unaware of the fate of his partner.

Sailboats maneuvering into the private dock routinely draw complaints to the Sheriff's Harbor Patrol, but there were no complaints about the sailboat making its way back to the dock Feb. 16.

Investigators later discovered the anchor, chain and engine of the tiny sailboat were replaced before authorities took possession of the craft as part of their investigation into Vendrick's disappearance.

Shawkey told investigators that both the anchor and chain were lost at sea after he dropped off Vendrick at Dana Point Harbor. Shawkey purchased a new chain and anchor when he arrived in Long Beach a few days later, said Amormino.

Divers searched a 2-mile stretch of the Dana Point Harbor on Feb. 21. Divers recovered an anchor and portions of a chain but have been unable to verify if they belonged to the Odyssey.

The engine of the sailboat was also replaced, and authorities said it could provide investigators with clues as to what happened to 71-year-old Vendrick.

Sheriff's investigators discovered that the 4-stroke 1993 Honda outboard engine that the boat originally had was replaced sometime between Feb. 15, the day Vendrick arrived in Southern California, and Feb. 19.

The Odyssey was bought by Shawkey and Vendrick from a San Clemente man Feb. 14. Although Vendrick had no sailing experience, he was listed on the boat's purchase receipt.

Shawkey told investigators that the engine was not working properly and he purchased a brand new engine Feb. 15, Amormino said.
Deborah Cox, Volunteer
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#6 Deborah

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 07:36 PM

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What Happened to Robert Vendrick?

March 28, 2008  Print
Vol. 1, Issue 8, March 28-April 3, 2008

By Nathan Wright
Dana Point Times

Harbor regulars speak up about the missing Phoenix man, common opinion isn’t hopeful.

The bar at Turk’s Restaurant overlooks the water, giving patron Don Hayden a clear look at the Harbor’s fueling barge a few hundred yards away. “They dove right out there, looking for him,” he says, remembering the search for Robert Vendrick in February. Hayden pauses, sips his drink and makes a prediction. “They’ll never find him,” he says, sipping again. “He probably took him 10 miles out, tied an anchor to him and dropped him in the ocean.”

It’s been more than six weeks since Vendrick, a 71-year-old Arizona investor, vanished from Dana Point without a trace, leaving locals to guess at his fate. Reports lead Hayden and many others to assume foul play.

Vendrick “a father of two and grandfather of three” last seen on Saturday, February 16 at Dana Point Harbor with his business partner Gary Shawkey. The two headed out to sea in a 23-foot sailboat, and Vendrick’s wife in Phoenix and brother in Hermosa Beach haven’t heard from him since. Shawkey later told police he dropped him back off at the Harbor, but Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigators have found no evidence to support that claim.

The story sounds fishy to the afternoon crowd at Turk’s which is packed with Harbor folk and tourists. “Based on the little information I have, it sounds like the guy was up to no good,” says Hayden, a retired firefighter. “I think there was some hanky-panky.”

Hayley Wenzel, sitting a dozen barstools down from Hayden, says it more plainly: “I think he’s shark bait out there.”

Wenzel and her lunch companion Carolyn Roberts agree the story has already begun to fade from the minds of the Harbor community, especially after all signs of an investigation disappeared from the Harbor’s walkways and docks. Days after Vendrick vanished the Sheriff’s Department sent divers searching for clues and fliers went up detailing the case. That’s since changed. “The posters came down, and no one heard anything else about it,” says Roberts.

Turk’s bartender Tyler Phillips recalls plenty of chatter about Vendrick after he vanished. “When it first went down we heard a lot about it from our customers, but since then it’s really died down,” he says. If Vendrick is never found Phillips expects the tale will be adopted into local Harbor lore as one of the community’s classic unsolved mysteries. “It’ll get talked about once in a blue moon, like one of those ‘do you remember’ stories,” he says.

Vendrick’s disappearance isn’t only conversation in Dana Point’s bars. Mike Swenson, a barber and proprietor of the King’s Club Barbershop, says his customers had plenty to say about Vendrick in the days following the incident. “It’s just one of those peculiar stories that gets people thinking,” he said. “If they never find him and nothing ever happens it could become one of those urban legends that people like to talk about.”

While Vendrick may be an unsolved mystery in the making, investigators and his family hope to avoid the infamy. His brother Fred Vendrick continues taking calls from the media and answers every question he can. Still, he admitted Tuesday that there’s little his family can do without a huge investment of money.

“Were not so well-off that we can hire an investigator 24 hours a day to find more answers,” he says in a phone interview from his home in Hermosa Beach. “[Paying] $1,500 a day really adds up quickly and doesn’t really seem to be an option. At this point we need to allow the Sheriff’s Department to continue investigating the case and hope that it doesn’t become a cold case.”

Sheriff’s Investigator Mike Thompson dismisses the notion that Vendrick will ultimately end up in the cold-case file. He’s not ready to give up. “We still have leads,” he says.

While Thompson continues his investigation, Fred Vendrick is coming up with the same assumptions about his brother as Hayden and the others sipping drinks and eating lunch at Turk’s “To me, the reality is this,” he says, “people saw Bob leave with that guy and no one saw him come back. Why wouldn’t anyone see him come back to a busy place like Dana Point?

Timeline of Robert Vendrick’s Disappearance

Thursday, February 14: Gary Shawkey, 44, of Virginia buys the Odyssey, a 23-foot sailboat, from a San Clemente boat owner. Robert Vendrick’s name is included on the sales receipt, although he is not present at the time of purchase.

Friday, February 15: Vendrick flies from Phoenix to Long Beach, rents a car and drives to Dana Point. He checks in to the Dana Point Marina Inn around 4:30 p.m. and later meets Shawkey for a meal. Shawkey also buys a new outboard engine for the Odyssey and later claims he abandoned the old motor at a fueling dock at Dana Point Harbor after the station closed for the night. The old motor has not been found.

Saturday, February 16: Vendrick meets Shawkey for a trip aboard the Odyssey. The two head out to sea around 7 a.m. or 8 a.m. Vendrick is never seen again. What happened aboard the Odyssey is in dispute. The Vendrick family told authorities that the two were headed to San Clemente Island to meet with highly placed government officials to complete a deal worth more than $1 million.

“Shawkey’s statement is different than the story the family has told us,” says Orange County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Mike Thompson. “They are in conflict with each other.” While the Vendricks don’t know how the sailing trip ended, Shawkey gave his own version. “He said he came back in and dropped him off. [Vendrick] walked away and [Shawkey] never saw him again,” says Thompson. Thompson has not been able to verify Shawkey’s story.
   
Monday, February 18: Vendrick isn’t on his scheduled flight home to Phoenix and his wife reports him missing. Deputies search his room at the Dana Point Marina Inn and discover his clothes, suitcase and diabetes medicine. They later find his rental car parked in a Harbor parking lot.

Meanwhile, Shawkey buys a new anchor and chain for the Odyssey. He later tells investigators that he lost the original anchor and chain at sea. Investigators have since recovered what they believe to be the anchor and chain, although they admit it’s impossible to be sure if they are the originals.

Shawkey contacts authorities from Long Beach and gives his statement on what happened the morning of the boat trip. Based on the interview and evidence gathered, he remains only a person of interest and is not arrested or charged with any crime. He later returns to the East Coast.

The Latest: Vendrick is still missing, and Shawkey remains a person of interest. “At this point we haven’t run out of leads and we’ll continue working on it,” says Thompson. “We are still looking for any witnesses who have seen Mr. Vendrick or Mr. Shawkey in the Dana Point Harbor.”

Compiled by City Editor Nathan Wright through interviews with Orange County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Mike Thompson and spokesperson Jim Amormino.

More Dana Point Cases of Intrigue

“In 1980 Dana Point residents Keith and Patrice Harrington were found bludgeoned to death in their homes in the Niguel Shores gated community, apparent victims of the Original Night Stalker serial killer. The Original Night Stalker was never caught but is believed to have killed six people in Southern California between 1979 and 1986. Investigators were able to link the murders in Dana Point, Ventura and Irvine through DNA evidence but have never identified the man behind the attacks.

“In another case that some say remains unsolved, Ned Doheny, who purchased the land in 1928 that ultimately became Capistrano Beach, was gunned down on February 16, 1929, and never got the opportunity to testify in the ongoing Teapot Dome Scandal trial. In an odd twist of history, Robert Vendrick disappeared on February 16, 2008, 79 years after Doheny’s death, which some believe was a murder-suicide. Doheny was the son of Edward Doheny, the man who donated the land that is now Doheny State Park."
Deborah Cox, Volunteer
Case Verification
Project Jason
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Help us find the missing: Become an AAN Member
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If you have seen any of our missing persons, please call the law enforcement agency listed on the post. All missing persons are loved by someone, and their families deserve to find the answers they seek in regards to the disappearance.

#7 Denise

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 05:24 PM

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Man To Be Quizzed About Disappearance Of Friend

ORANGE COUNTY Gary Shawkey was missing. And Orange County police announced that they were interested in finding Shawkey as a "person of interest" in the investigation into the disappearance of his business partner who has been missing since mid-February.

But the plot thickens. Shawkey was recently seen in Mexico.

And now he is on his way back to the O.C. to be interviewed by sheriff's homicide investigators. Shawkey himself had been listed as a missing person for a few days, after checking into a Santa Ana motel and then vanishing after contacting a sheriff's investigator.

Shawkey, who is believed to be the last person to see former business associate Robert Vendrick alive, was stopped in Nogales, Mexico, and brought to Arizona for an interview with law enforcement officers in that state, says Jim Amormino of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Arizona authorities put Shawkey on a bus to Orange County, and he is expected to arrive within several hours, Amormino says.

Shawkey vanished after checking into a Santa Ana motel room on Sunday and leaving a message with homicide detectives, saying he had come to Orange County by bus from his Virginia home to pick up Vendrick in Mexico, Amormino said.

Despite Shawkey's claims that he recently ran into Vendrick in Florida, Vendrick has not surfaced and Shawkey cannot explain why, Amormino said.

Vendrick arrived in the Southland on Feb. 15, rented a car at the Long Beach Airport and was reported missing by his wife when he failed to return home days later.

He had come to the Southland to meet with Shawkey and what he thought were "highly placed government officials" to receive a $1.2 million return on an investment in software programming, according to investigators.

Vendrick and Shawkey were last seen together on a sailboat at Dana Point Harbor, sheriff's officials said. The small boat that Vendrick bought -- ostensibly to sail with Shawkey to San Clemente Island, which is controlled by the U.S. military -- turned up several days later in Long Beach.


#8 Denise

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 06:12 PM

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Partner of missing man disappears, then turns up in Mexico
Gary Shawkey, 44, claims he found Robert Vendrick, 71 - missing since February, when they bought a boat together.


By KIMBERLY EDDS
The Orange County Register

SANTA ANA - A motivational speaker named as the only person of interest in the disappearance of his business partner after a boat trip in February has been found in Mexico after mysteriously disappearing, and he now claims to have rendezvoused with his missing friend in Tijuana, only to lose him again.

Authorities are also searching for a third person who may have met with the business partners just days before one of the partners disappeared.

In the latest twist in the already bizarre case, Gary Shawkey, 44, of Virginia was discovered Wednesday afternoon in Nogales, Mexico, after abruptly disappearing from Orange County motel room in his ongoing quest to look for his missing investment partner, Robert Vendrick, a 71-year-old diabetic from Phoenix, said Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino.

Vendrick showed up Feb. 15 in Southern California to meet with Shawkey and “highly placed government officials” to receive a $1.2 million return on his software programming investment. The deal never happened. A day later, Vendrick disappeared.

Shawkey and the $1,000 boat he and Vendrick bought showed up several days later in Long Beach. But Vendrick was not aboard. Shawkey, who has a reputation for making millions from investors across the United States, claims Vendrick had a change of heart and backed out on the deal.

Over the past three months, Shawkey has been crisscrossing the country on Greyhound buses in an effort to locate Vendrick.

Three months after Vendrick disappeared, investigators said, Shawkey appeared to have vanished in an eerily similar way to his business partner. A day after arriving in Orange County on a Greyhound bus and checking into the Golden West Lodge at Main Street and the I-5, Shawkey disappeared.

The television in Shawkey's motel room was left on, his passport, wallet, medication and toiletries were all left behind, just as Vendrick's were the day he disappeared from his Dana Point hotel.

Shawkey was detained at the Nogales border crossing Wednesday afternoon by Mexican authorities, who discovered he was on a missing-persons list. Shawkey called investigators to tell them Vendrick had jumped off the bus in Tijuana and was now headed to Mazatlan. Shawkey is on a bus headed back to Santa Ana to be interviewed by investigators.

Authorities are looking into reports that Vendrick and Shawkey met with a third unidentified person in Phoenix on Feb. 9, just a week before Vendrick disappeared.

Shawkey checked into the motel about 12:50 p.m. Sunday and left a message for Orange County Sheriff's Department Investigator Ken Hoffman, who is investigating Vendrick's disappearance and has been in regular contact with Shawkey. In his message, Shawkey said he was headed to Mexico to look for Vendrick.

Shawkey also called a co-worker to insist that if he didn't call back by noon Monday, to call Hoffman, Amormino said. Shawkey's call never came and the co-worker called authorities.

Investigators went to Shawkey's room Monday afternoon and found Shawkey's belongings but not Shawkey, Amormino said.

Two weeks ago, homicide investigators executed two search warrants at Shawkey's house in Mechanicsville, Va., carting out several computers and other items, Amormino said. Forensics experts are going through the computer files.

Shawkey's latest bus trip is not the first time the motivational speaker and self-help author has gone to look for his missing business partner. While investigators were still combing the area for clues, Shawkey left California in early March to attend a bikers' week in Florida, “to look for the missing man,” authorities said. Shawkey was in Daytona Beach, but there was no sign of Vendrick.

Last week, he was in Brownsville, Texas, looking for Vendrick.

#9 Linda

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 09:58 AM

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Key Figure In OC Missing-Man Case Found

May 15, 2008

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- The key figure in the February disappearance of an Arizona businessman was apprehended Wednesday after vanishing earlier this week.

Gary Shawkey, 44, was apprehended by Border Patrol officials as he crossed from Mexico into Nogales, Ariz., said sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino.

Shawkey is on a bus back to Santa Ana, where he will be interviewed by homicide investigators, Amormino said.

Shawkey claimed he had gone to Tijuana to speak to his missing business partner, authorities said.

Shawkey left a voicemail Sunday telling a sheriff's homicide investigator that he was heading to Mexico to pick up the missing man, Robert Lee Vendrick, 71, of Phoenix, who has been missing since February.

Shawkey told Arizona law enforcement that he had gone to Tijuana and met Vendrick and "had every intention of turning him over to Border Patrol, but Vendrick jumped on a bus to Mazatlan instead," said Amormino.

According to Amormino, before Shawkey left California, he told a co-worker: "If I'm not back at 12 o'clock Monday afternoon, something awful happened to me."

The co-worker called the Sheriff's Department Monday. That afternoon, investigators went to the Santa Ana motel room where Shawkey had placed the call and found the television on and Shawkey's possessions untouched, including his wallet, passport, keys and medication, Amormino said.

"I know it sounds crazy but the whole case sounds crazy," said Amormino.

Police declared Shawkey, Vendrick's former investment partner, a missing person.

Shawkey is a motivational speaker from Virginia who runs several Internet-based companies and co-authored a motivational autobiography called "If I Can ... Anybody Can."

Amormino said he is a "person of interest" and a "key figure" -- but not a suspect -- in the Feb. 16 disappearance of Vendrick.

Vendrick invested more than $1 million in a computer program venture with Shawkey and he vanished a day after arriving in Southern California to seal the deal, authorities said.

Vendrick told his wife he was preparing for a boat trip to San Clemente Island to close the deal with some secret government workers, Amormino said.

A search began after he failed to return home to Phoenix. Investigators later found a 23-foot sailboat in Long Beach that Vendrick had purchased with Shawkey.

Shawkey told investigators the two sailed out of Dana Point harbor but Vendrick changed his mind during the trip and he took him back to shore and went on alone to Long Beach, Amormino said.

Investigators discovered that the boat's anchor, anchor rope and engine had been replaced, Amormino said.

Shawkey told investigators that the original engine malfunctioned before the trip and he bought another and left the original on a dock. He also claimed to have thrown away an anchor and lost another at sea, Amormino said.

Divers recovered an anchor in the Dana Point area but investigators have not been able to confirm that it belonged to the boat, Amormino said.

#10 Lori Davis

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 02:34 PM

http://www.danapoint...nt01returnid=51

Virginia Man Charged With Murder in Case of Man Missing from Dana Point
February 13, 2009

SANTA ANA - The Orange County District Attorney filed special circumstances murder for financial gain charges against a Virginia man, for luring an elderly Phoenix investor onto a boat off Dana Point Harbor last February.

Gary A. Shawkey, 46, Mechanicsville, VA, was charged with one count of murder with a sentencing enhancement of intentional murder carried out for financial gain. If convicted, the defendant will be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Shawkey is currently in custody in Virginia on unrelated theft charges. The defendant is not eligible for bail. The Orange County District Attorney has requested that Shawkey be extradited to Orange County, CA to face charges. There are no California court dates set at this time.

In the past, Shawkey has claimed to be a professional fisherman and a bail bonds man, among other professions. At the time of the arrest by Virginia authorities on the unrelated charges, the defendant claimed he was working for a limousine company in New Jersey. For a few years prior to February 2008, the defendant is accused of swindling about $1 million from a 71-year-old Phoenix man, who had retired from the software industry, by promising him great returns on imaginary investments. In February 2008, with victim Robert Vendrick becoming reluctant to invest more money, the defendant is accused of convincing him to invest in a new venture involving the development of "top secret computer software" for the federal government. The defendant is accused of convincing the victim to wire $100,000 to a bank account and telling the victim to fly to Orange County to meet with federal agents to finalize the project.

When the defendant and the victim arrived in Orange County, the defendant is accused of buying a boat and convincing the victim to sail to San Clemente Island to meet with "federal agents." Shawkey and Vendrick got on the boat and sailed out of Dana Point Harbor and the victim was never seen again. Sometime between Feb. 14, 2008, and Feb. 24, 2008, Shawkey is accused of murdering Vendrick and disposing of the body for financial gain.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department investigated this case. Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

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#11 Lori Davis

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 04:05 PM

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Virginia Man Faces Murder Charges For Man Missing From Dana Point Harbor
February 17, 2009
By Nathan Wright

The bizarre disappearance of Arizona investor Robert Vendrick took an unexpected turn last Friday when the man who last saw him alive was charged with his murder.

The Orange County District Attorney’s office on February 13 charged Gary Shawkey, 46, of Virginia with one count of murder with a sentencing enhancement of murder for financial gain. If convicted, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The charges came just three days before the one year anniversary of Vendrick’s disappearance.

“It just takes time, unfortunately, for cases like this to come together with sufficient evidence to file charges,” said Senior District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh. “This case has been investigated continuously since it happened.”

Vendrick, 71, vanished on February 16, 2008 after meeting with Shawkey at the Dana Point Harbor. Vendrick’s family later told police that he had planned to take a sailboat to San Clemente Island with Shawkey to meet with government agents to discuss a lucrative investment in “top secret computer software.”  Records later showed that Vendrick had wired $100,000 to Shawkey before flying to Southern California.

Vendrick was never seen again and his body has never been found.

His wife reported him missing two days later on February 15 after he missed his flight back home to Phoenix, and authorities found only his suitcase, clothes and diabetes medicine when they searched his hotel room at the Dana Point Marina Inn. His rental car was found in the parking lot.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department declared Shawkey a person of interest, but he told authorities that he had dropped Vendrick back off at the Harbor and had not heard from him since. Investigators later discovered that Shawkey had purchased the 23-foot sailboat just days earlier to make the trip, and that he’d replaced the motor and the anchor two days after Vendrick disappeared.

The old motor, which Shawkey claimed to have abandoned at the Harbor’s fuel dock, was never found. Divers found an anchor at the Harbor’s bottom, but it could not be identified as one replace by Shawkey.

With Shawkey’s denials and no body, investigators have spent the last 12 months gathering enough evidence to file charges. On Feb. 13 those charges were finally made, much to the relief of the Vendrick family.

“We’re glad he was finally arrested, although we don’t know what the smoking gun was,” said Fred Vendrick of Hermosa Beach, Robert’s brother. “I think the weight of the evidence finally added up.”

Vendrick said Tuesday that his brother’s death “assumed, although never proven” has been hard on the family. His opinion of the man accused of murdering his brother for financial gain?

“He’s a sociopath, in my opinion,” said Fred Vendrick. “A narcissistic sociopath. He thinks that nothing will stick to him.”

Shawkey is currently in a Virginia jail on theft charges unrelated to the Vendrick case. The Orange County District Attorney’s office has requested he be extradited back to California following the court proceedings for the theft charges have concluded. “I’m hoping we get him back in California hopefully in the next few weeks,” said Baytieh.

Vendrick Timeline

Thursday, Feb. 14, 2008: Gary Shawkey buys the Odyssey, a 23-foot sailboat, from a San Clemente boat owner. Robert Vendrick’s name is included on the sale’s receipt, although he is not present at the time of purchase.

Friday, Feb. 15, 2008: Vendrick flies from Phoenix to Long Beach, rents a car and drives to Dana Point. He checks into the Dana Point Marina Inn at around 4:30 p.m. and later meets Shawkey for a meal. Shawkey also buys a new outboard engine for the Odyssey, and later claims he abandoned the old motor at a fueling dock at the Dana Point Harbor after it had closed for the night. The old motor has not been found.

Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008: Vendrick meets Shawkey for a sailing trip aboard the Odyssey. The two head out to sea at around 7-8 a.m. Vendrick is never seen again. What happened aboard the Odyssey is currently in dispute. The Vendrick family told police that the two were headed to San Clemente Island to meet with highly placed government officials to complete a deal worth more than $1 million.

“Shawkey’s statement is different than the story the family has told us,” said Orange County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Mike Thompson. “They are in conflict with each other.” While the Vendricks don’t know how the sailing trip ended, Shawkey gave his own version. “He said he came back in and dropped him off,” said Thompson. “[Vendrick] walked away and [Shawkey] never saw him again.”

Thompson was not been able to verify Shawkey’s story.

Monday, Feb. 18, 2008: Vendrick misses his flight home to Phoenix and his wife reports him missing. Deputies search his room at the Dana Point Marina Inn and discover his clothes, suitcase and diabetes medicine. They later find his rental car parked in a Harbor parking lot.

Shawkey buys a new anchor and chain for the Odyssey. He later tells investigators that he lost the anchor and chain at sea. Investigators have since recovered what they believe to be the anchor and chain, although Thompson said it’s impossible to be sure if they are the originals.

Shawkey contacts police from Long Beach and gives his statement on what happened the morning of the boat trip. Based on the interview and evidence gathered he remains only a person of interest and is not arrested or charged with any crime. He later returns to the East Coast, telling investigators he plans to look for Vendrick in Florida.

Monday, May 12, 2008: In a bizarre twist, Shawkey is himself reported missing from a Santa Ana motel after he fails to report in to a friend. “He told his co-worker on Sunday that if he didn’t call by 12 on Monday something horrible had happened,” said sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino.

Deputies arrive at the Golden West Motel in Santa Ana and find Shawkey’s wallet, passport, medication and his clothes, eerily similar to what was found in Vendrick’s room after he was reported missing.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008: Shawkey is discovered in Nogales, Mexico by Mexican authorities after he’s identified as a missing person. He’s sent back to Orange County.

Thursday, May 15, 2008: Shawkey returns to Orange County and tells investigators that he went looking and found Vendrick in Mexico, but that the missing man had jumped off a bus in Tijuana and had fled. The story was never verified.

Friday, Feb. 13, 2009: Shawkey is charged with murdering Vendrick by the Orange County District Attorney’s office. The charges include a special circumstance for murdering for financial gain.

Monday, Feb. 16, 2009: The one-year anniversary of Vendrick’s disappearance.
Below is the full release issued by the Orange County District Attorney's office:
SANTA ANA - The Orange County District Attorney filed special circumstances murder for financial gain charges against a Virginia man, for luring an elderly Phoenix investor onto a boat off Dana Point Harbor last February.

Gary A. Shawkey, 46, Mechanicsville, VA, was charged with one count of murder with a sentencing enhancement of intentional murder carried out for financial gain. If convicted, the defendant will be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Shawkey is currently in custody in Virginia on unrelated theft charges. The defendant is not eligible for bail. The Orange County District Attorney has requested that Shawkey be extradited to Orange County, CA to face charges. There are no California court dates set at this time.

In the past, Shawkey has claimed to be a professional fisherman and a bail bonds man, among other professions. At the time of the arrest by Virginia authorities on the unrelated charges, the defendant claimed he was working for a limousine company in New Jersey. For a few years prior to February 2008, the defendant is accused of swindling about $1 million from a 71-year-old Phoenix man, who had retired from the software industry, by promising him great returns on imaginary investments. In February 2008, with victim Robert Vendrick becoming reluctant to invest more money, the defendant is accused of convincing him to invest in a new venture involving the development of "top secret computer software" for the federal government. The defendant is accused of convincing the victim to wire $100,000 to a bank account and telling the victim to fly to Orange County to meet with federal agents to finalize the project.

When the defendant and the victim arrived in Orange County, the defendant is accused of buying a boat and convincing the victim to sail to San Clemente Island to meet with "federal agents." Shawkey and Vendrick got on the boat and sailed out of Dana Point Harbor and the victim was never seen again. Sometime between Feb. 14, 2008, and Feb. 24, 2008, Shawkey is accused of murdering Vendrick and disposing of the body for financial gain.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department investigated this case. Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

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#12 Jenn

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 07:57 AM

http://www.thelog.co...cle.aspx?x=9130

Murder Charges Filed in 2008 Disappearance of Boater in Dana Point


By: Ambrosia Sarabia | Thursday, February 19, 2009 12:00:00 AM
Last updated: Thursday, February 19, 2009 2:31:00 PM

SANTA ANA - The Orange County District Attorney’s office has announced its filing of special circumstances murder for financial gain charges against 46-year-old Gary A. Shawkey, a year after the disappearance of a 71-year-old Phoenix investor who was last seen boarding a boat in Dana Point Harbor with Shawkey.

Shawkey, of Mechanicsville, Va., was charged with one count of murder with a sentencing enhancement of intentional murder carried out for financial gain. Robert Vendrick of Phoenix was last seen alive Feb. 16, 2008, aboard a small sailboat in Dana Point Harbor.

According to the Orange County District Attorney’s office, Shawkey is accused of swindling about $1 million from Vendrick by promising high returns on an investment scheme. When Vendrick became reluctant to invest more money, the D.A.’s office alleges Shawkey convinced him to invest in a new venture that involved the development of “top secret computer software” for the federal government. Shawkey then allegedly convinced Vendrick to wire $100,000 to a bank account and fly to Orange County, to meet with federal agents and finalize the deal.

Once in Orange County, Shawkey allegedly bought a small sailboat and asked Vendrick to sail with him to San Clemente Island, where they would supposedly meet the federal agents.

Vendrick, who retired from the software industry, was seen aboard the boat with Shawkey, and the pair sailed out of Dana Point Harbor. Vendrick was never seen again.

In the past, Shawkey has claimed to be a professional fisherman, and a bail bondsman, among other professions, according to the D.A.’s office. At the time of his arrest by Virginia authorities on unrelated charges, he claimed to be working for a limousine company in New Jersey.

Shawkey is currently being held in Virginia on unrelated theft charges, and the Orange County district attorney has requested Shawkey be extradited to Orange County to face charges.

If convicted, Shawkey could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the D.A.’s office reported.
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#13 Lori Davis

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 07:16 PM

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Missing man's family sees suspect in court
Monday, March 30, 2009
By Eileen Frere

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- A Virginia man awaits his day in court to face justice. He's accused of murdering his business partner, Robert Vendrick, during a sailing trip. But a body has never been found.

The victim from Phoenix mysteriously disappeared following a sailing trip. Investigators were puzzled until they uncovered a series of clues that pointed at their suspect.

It was an emotional day for the Robert Vendrick's family. They came to court specifically to see the defendant in person for the first time since losing their loved one last year.

"I don't feel vindictiveness, I just feel sad," said Fred Vendrick, Robert's brother.

Fred Vendrick wanted to see the man accused of killing his older brother, Robert, more than a year ago. A court order has banned showing any images of the 45-year-old defendant during the hearing.

Gary Shawkey was extradited from Virginia to Orange County last week, charged with murdering his 71-year-old business partner. Prosecutors allege he lured Vendrick from Phoenix to Dana Point to take a boat ride in February 2008, having him believe he was about to secure a secret government contract.

"What we intend to prove in court is he took him on a boat and threw him overboard," said Ebrahim Baytieh, Orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney.

The boat turned up in Long Beach days later, but Vendrick has not been seen since.

Vendrick's clothes, medication and identification were left behind in a hotel room. Investigators say the boat's original motor, anchor and chain are also missing.

Prosecutors allege Shawkey stole more than a million dollars from Vendrick over the years, promising high returns on investments that didn't actually exist. Investigators say Shawkey allegedly convinced the retiree to take part in one last venture, to develop computer software for the government.

They were to sail to San Clemente Island to meet with federal agents. Fred and Bob Vendrick invested $100,000 to seal the deal. Authorities say Shawkey told them Vendrick changed his mind and dropped him off at a dock.

"It got to a point where Mr. Vendrick was not very happy with the fact that he wasn't getting all of his money back," said Baytieh.

Shawkey, a motivational speaker, has been accused of bilking other investors across the U.S. out of millions of dollars. Months after Vendrick vanished, Shawkey himself disappeared from a motel in Orange County in a very similar way, leaving behind essential items. Shawkey was eventually located in Mexico.

"Mostly I'd like to know how it happened and why he did it," said Fred Vendrick Monday.

Gary Shawkey was serving time in jail in Virginia for unrelated theft charges when he was arrested for Vendrick's murder. He is being held in Orange County without bail awaiting his next court appearance next month.

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#14 Jenn

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 09:57 AM

Charley Project Profile for Robert: http://www.charleypr...ick_robert.html
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#15 Jenn

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 09:59 AM

http://www.danapoint...nt01returnid=51

Man Indicted for Murder in Dana Point Harbor Case

December 17, 2009
Vol. 2, Issue 51, December 18-24, 2009
By Jonathan Volzke

Last Thursday, December 10, the lead suspect in the disappearance of a 71-year-old retired businessman from Phoenix following a suspicious boating trip out of Dana Point Harbor was indicted for murder. Gary A. Shawkey, 46, of Mechanicsville, Va., was indicted on one felony count of special circumstances murder for financial gain, one felony count of grand theft, and a sentencing enhancement for stealing over $200,000 after allegedly luring his victim, Robert Vendrick, onto a boat under the false pretense of meeting with federal agents on San Clemente Island to discuss a top secret investment deal. The Orange County District Attorney’s office charged Shawkey with murder, stating that they believe Shawkey disposed of Vendrick’s body at sea.

The DA’s office said that between January 2004 and February 2008, Shawkey is accused of swindling approximately $1 million from Vendrick, who had worked in the software industry. The defendant is accused of convincing Vendrick to invest in imaginary investments with the promise of high returns. As the victim became reluctant to continue investing money with Shawkey, the defendant is accused of persuading Vendrick to invest in a new venture involving the development of top secret computer software for the federal government. The defendant is accused of convincing Vendrick to wire $100,000 to a bank account in Shawkey’s name and telling the victim to fly to Orange County to meet with federal agents to finalize the project.

In February 2008, the defendant and the victim arrived in Orange County. Shawkey is accused of purchasing a 23-foot sailboat and convincing the victim to sail with him to San Clemente Island to meet with federal agents. Shawkey and Vendrick got on the boat and sailed out of Dana Point Harbor. The victim was never seen again.
Sometime between Feb. 14, 2008, and Feb. 24, 2008, Shawkey is accused of murdering Vendrick and disposing of the body for financial gain.

In February 2009, Shawkey was arrested in Virginia on unrelated theft charges. He was in custody in Virginia when charges were filed against him for the murder of Vendrick that same month. The defendant was extradited to Orange County March 26, 2009, to face those charges.

Shawkey is being held without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment Dec. 17, 2009, at 9 a.m. in Department C-5, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.



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#16 Jenn

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 10:02 AM

http://www.orangecou...e=0&sl_month=12

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
Case # 09ZF0078
December 10, 2009

VIRGINIA MAN INDICTED FOR MURDERING 71-YEAR-OLD INVESTOR AFTER LURING VICTIM ONTO BOAT UNDER PRETENSE OF MEETING FEDERAL AGENTS FOR TOP SECRET INVESTMENT DEAL


SANTA ANA – A Virginia man was indicted today for murdering a 71-year-old victim by luring him onto a boat under the false pretense of meeting federal agents on San Clemente Island to discuss a top secret investment deal and disposing of his body in the ocean. Gary A. Shawkey, 46, Mechanicsville, VA, has been indicted on one felony count of special circumstances murder for financial gain, one felony count of grand theft, and a sentencing enhancement for stealing over $200,000. The defendant is being held without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment Dec. 17, 2009, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-5, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

In February 2009, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office released a press release with the following information:

Between January 2004 and February 2008, Shawkey is accused of swindling approximately $1 million from Robert Vendrick, a 71-year-old retired Phoenix man who had worked in the software industry. The defendant is accused of convincing Vendrick to invest in imaginary investments with the promise of high returns.

As the victim became reluctant to continue investing money with Shawkey, the defendant is accused of persuading Vendrick to invest in a new venture involving the development of top secret computer software for the federal government.  The defendant is accused of convincing Vendrick to wire $100,000 to a bank account in Shawkey’s name and telling the victim to fly to Orange County to meet with federal agents to finalize the project.

In February 2008, the defendant and the victim arrived in Orange County. Shawkey is accused of purchasing a 23-foot sailboat and convincing the victim to sail with him to San Clemente Island to meet with federal agents.  Shawkey and Vendrick got on the boat and sailed out of Dana Point Harbor. The victim was never seen again.

Sometime between Feb. 14, 2008, and Feb. 24, 2008, Shawkey is accused of murdering Vendrick and disposing of the body for financial gain.

In February 2009, Shawkey was arrested in Virginia on unrelated theft charges. He was in custody in Virginia when charges were filed against him for the murder of Vendrick that same month. The defendant was extradited to Orange County March 26, 2009, to face those charges.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.


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#17 Jenn

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 10:07 AM

http://www.thelog.co...le.aspx?x=10447

Self-Help Entrepreneur Gary Shawkey Indicted on Murder Charge


By: Ambrosia Sarabia | Wednesday, December 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM
Last updated: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 4:03:00 PM

SANTA ANA — A Virginia man who billed himself as a “self-help guru” and “entrepreneur” — in addition to stints as a commercial fisherman and a bail bondsman, among other professions — was indicted Dec. 10 on charges including murder, in connection with the disappearance of a 71-year-old investor who reportedly gave him more than $1 million.

Prosecutors said Phoenix resident Robert Vendrick was killed after 46-year-old Gary Shawkey allegedly lured him out to sea with the promise of finalizing a big-money investment deal at government-controlled San Clemente Island. Vendrick was last seen boarding a 23-foot sailboat with Shawkey at Dana Point Harbor.

Shawkey, who lives in Mechanicsville, VA, had been arrested in Virginia on unrelated theft charges when charges were filed against him in the murder of Vendrick. Shawkey has been formally charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder for financial gain, one felony count of grand theft and a sentencing enhancement for allegedly stealing more than $200,000.

Prosecutors said Shawkey swindled approximately $1 million from Vendrick between January 2004 and February 2008. The defendant is accused of convincing Vendrick to invest in false investments with the promise of high returns.

When Vendrick was hesitant to continue investing with Shawkey, prosecutors said the defendant persuaded Vendrick — a former software industry professional — to invest in a new venture that involved the development of highly confidential computer software for the federal government.

As part of the plan, prosecutors said, Shawkey convinced Vendrick to wire $100,000 to a bank account in the defendant’s name and fly to Orange County — supposedly to meet with federal agents to finalize the software deal.

The defendant is accused of murdering Vendrick for financial gain and disposing of his body, sometime between Feb. 14 and Feb. 24, 2008.

At press time, Shawkey awaited arraignment and was being held without bail.


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#18 Lori Davis

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 09:40 PM

http://articles.nyda...california-jury

California con man Gary Shawkey found guilty of murdering business partner, dumping body in ocean

BY LARRY MCSHANE
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A con man was convicted of murdering his business partner during a 2008 sailing trip to cover up a $1 million ripoff - even though the victim's body was never recovered.

Gary Shawkey, 47, was found guilty Tuesday by a California jury for killing 71-year-old Robert Lee Vendrick, whose still-missing body was dumped in the Pacific Ocean, authorities said.

Shawkey faces life in prison at his July 22 sentencing because the jury convicted him of murder for financial gain.

The conviction without the recovery of a body was a legal rarity, but one juror told The Orange County Register that the evidence against Shawkey was overwhelming.

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#19 Lori Davis

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 09:43 PM

Virginia Man Gets Life for Murder in Dana Point Missing Person Case

Thursday, August 18, 2011 12:00:00 AM
Last updated: Thursday, September 01, 2011 9:47:00 AM

SANTA ANA — Virginia resident Gary Shawkey was sentenced July 22 to life in state prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of 71-year-old Robert Lee Vendrick, who was never seen again after he boarded a boat with Shawkey.

Shawkey, 47, was found guilty June 21 of one felony count of special circumstances murder for financial gain, one felony count of grand theft, and a sentencing enhancement for theft of more than $200,000.

Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh, who prosecuted the case, said that after luring Vendrick onto a small sailboat in Dana Point Harbor in 2008 under the false pretense of meeting federal agents to discuss a secret investment deal, Shawkey murdered Vendrick and then dumped the body overboard into the Pacific Ocean. The conviction without the recovery of a body was a legal rarity.

Read more: http://www.thelog.co...=4&b=14&x=12635

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