Search for Missing S.C. Couple Broadens

By: AP
By: AP

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) -- The search for a couple missing for almost two weeks has expanded beyond this resort island, a sheriff said Friday without giving details.

John and Elizabeth Calvert, who live part time on a yacht at the Harbour Town marina they lease and manage, were last seen March 3. Police think Dennis Ray Gerwing, a business associate of the couple who committed suicide Tuesday, was the last person to see them.

"We're not only looking at areas on Hilton Head but off Hilton Head as well," Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner said. "I can just tell you it has expanded quite a bit over the past 11 days."

He would not provide more details about the ongoing search but confirmed Friday that Gerwing's death was a suicide.

Gerwing, who had been questioned by investigators, killed himself by slashing his inner thigh with a knife. He was named as a person of interest in the case after he died but before his body was found in the bathroom of his Hilton Head condominium.

Tanner said two suicide notes were being analyzed by the State Law Enforcement Division. The sheriff has seen the notes but would not discuss them, and a spokeswoman for the state agency declined to comment about the letters.

The sheriff said deputies had searched rental units managed by the Calverts and Gerwing's boat, but would not say what, if anything, was found.

Gerwing's body was found after his attorney Dan Saxon went to his condo. Saxon told The Associated Press he found the bathroom door locked and a suicide note on the bed. He said he did not know exactly what the note said.

"We saw one note. I didn't spend a lot of time reading the note at all," he said, adding that he was busy calling police.

The death "was a complete shock," Saxon said. He said there had been no sign of trouble when he talked to Gerwing the night before he died.

Gerwing, 54, was chief financial officer of The Club Group, which the Calverts hired more than two years ago to help administer their business. In December, the Calverts decided they no longer needed the company and were transitioning from its services.

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