Clay County man accused of tampering with woman’s drink has ties to missing person cold case

Relatives say Windy Gail Fox was engaged to Robert Welch before she disappeared in 2006

The recent arrest of a man accused of tampering with a woman’s drink at a Clay County bar has placed a spotlight on a missing person cold case.

Clay County deputies said they used security video as evidence to arrest Robert Welch, 48, of Green Cove Springs, last week after a woman complained about her beer being tampered. News4Jax has since learned Welch has ties to a Jacksonville cold case from 2006 involving a reported missing woman.

Relatives of Windy Gail Fox said she was engaged to Welch and was last seen in public with him at a Jacksonville flea market before she disappeared. According to the family, no one has seen her since.

Fox was 43 years old when she was reported missing about 15 years ago. According to Jacksonville police, she was last seen in public on Aug. 6, 2006, at the Ramona Flea Market. Police said she was with her fiancé, Welch, and the two got into a fight. Investigators said that after the fight, Fox supposedly left the market with friends and was never heard from again.

Missing person flyer for Windy Gail Fox (Special to WJXT)

Fox’s aunt, Mary Boyette, said her niece lived with her and other relatives. She confirmed Fox and Welch were engaged but said the relationship was rocky. She also recalled the days leading up to when Fox was officially reported as a missing person.

“He picked her up from work on a Friday night. Monday morning, I got a call from my mother asking if I had seen Windy. I called Robert and he wouldn’t answer my questions. So she has not been seen or heard from again,” Boyette told News4Jax.

Boyette said her niece had no reason to disappear or run away without contacting relatives.

“She would have never let my momma go to bed worrying about her. She wouldn’t have done that to my momma, her grandmother. She wouldn’t have done it,” Boyette said.

Boyette said she believes that her niece is dead and wished she had confirmation so that she can have closure.

“Having a missing loved one is something I would wish on no one in the world,” Boyette said.

Welch is not charged with any crime related to Fox’s disappearance. News4Jax only learned about his ties to Fox following his March 26 arrest on a charge of tampering with a consumer product.

According to detectives, security video appears to show Welch placing something into a woman’s beer bottle while she was away from the table at a Clay County bar. According to investigators, the woman came back, noticed her beer was extra foamy and then saw a tablet at the bottom of the bottle.

She told deputies that prior to this incident, she drank with Welch on two occasions and passed out with no recollection of what happened the night before. Another woman, who frequents the same bar, came forward with similar complaints.

According to detectives, Welch told them he put a B-12 vitamin in the drink. His roommate called the News4Jax newsroom and said he told her and her husband the same thing before deputies showed up at their home and took Welch into custody.

As of Thursday evening, Welch remained in the Clay County jail on $50,000 bond.

Anyone with information about the missing person cold case is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.


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