Bahamian police release report detailing E. Texan's disappearance
POSTED: Thursday, July 17, 2014 - 3:00pm
UPDATED: Monday, July 28, 2014 - 10:32am
Nassau, Bahamas (KETK) — KETK has obtained the full report from the Royal Bahamian Police Force (RBPF) surrounding the disappearance of a Longview chiropractor diving in the West End, Bahamas.
Below is an overview of the case filed by the RBPF in relation to the July 15 disappearance of 63-year-old John E. Petty.
On Monday, July 14 at around 4:31 p.m., police at West End Division, Grand Bahama, received a report of man who went messing during a dive off West End.
In response to the report, officers spoke with Captain T. Berkely, commanding officer of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF). A George Raymond Hughes, Jr., 50, of North Palm Beach, Florida, was then interviewed. The man stated he was the captain of a 65-foot dive boat named "Shearwater" that is used to take people on scuba diving tours with a crew of four.
Hughes told authorities on Sunday, July 13 at about 2:00 a.m., his crew and seven passengers departed West Palm Beach, Florida en route to West End, Grand Bahama. They arrived later that day at 8:30 a.m.
At around 9:30 a.m., two more passengers boarded the vessel at a marina, and the group headed to Memory Rock, arriving about four miles north of the location at 1:30 p.m. All divers entered the water with gear attached, helped by crew members, who were also in the water at different times.
At a time past 6:45 p.m., Hughes noticed Petty holding a line going up to the boat. Hughes then stayed in the water with two other divers. Sometime after 6:50 p.m., Captain Hughes and the two divers returned to the vessel to leave.
During this time, a Cornor Cassidy, 27, of Lakeworth, Florida, reported Petty was missing. They conducted a search of the entire area, but could not find him. The U.S. Coast Guard was then contacted and began assisting in the search by boat and air.
Sometime mid-morning on Monday, the RBDF also joined the search. In this time frame, a mask, tank, buoyancy device, camera and weight belt were found. Some items showed visible signs of apparent bite marks. All of the items are believed to have belonged to Petty. Statements were taken from divers and crew members.
The scene was processed by Scenes of Crime Officers and the recovered items were collected for further examination.