JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville man is still missing in Mexico more than a month after he was last seen. His daughter’s fears are growing, and now, Sen. Marco Rubio’s office is aiding in the search efforts.
Robert Cantrell, 62, he was last seen June 20 at the Cancun International Airport, according to a law enforcement agency in Mexico.
Shortly after he arrived, his family says, he made a very panicked phone call to his ex-wife saying his belongings were stolen and that he was trying to get back to Jacksonville.
Since that phone call to his ex-wife, Cantrell’s family came across a disturbing video of him on Facebook posted June 29.
Cantrell’s daughter, Lauren Cantrell, said he had traveled to Los Angeles last month and was supposed to get on a flight from there to Cancun June 18. He missed that flight, but the U.S. Embassy confirms to the family he arrived in Cancun June 20.
“We know that he made it to Cancun on the 20th. But his flight path makes no sense whatsoever,” Lauren said.
Robert was meeting with a real estate agent to check out a property in Mexico but never showed up for his appointment.
A video of Robert circulating on Facebook has Lauren concerned for his safety. He’s shown getting into an ambulance and was supposed to be taken to the US Embassy, according to the man recording the video.
“He doesn’t have a shirt on doesn’t have shoes, as reported in that video,” Lauren said. “He just, he couldn’t even speak in coherent sentences. And the things that he was saying were just not true. His eyes looked crazed. I think there’s something wrong. He also had lesions on his body. That’s what it’s been described as in that group.”
Lauren said she’s filed a missing person’s report with LAPD. She also turned to a private investigator and Texas Equusearch, a search and recovery nonprofit, for help.
Kay Harvey, a search coordinator with Texas Equusearch, is handling Robert’s case.
“At this point, we feel like he’s in danger and it’s time to get in there and get some boots on the ground and try to get him located,” Harvey said.
Harvey said her goal is to find Robert and personally bring him back to Jacksonville.
“We were told he was last seen at the airport and then, you know, we’ve seen some videos since you know, that are a little disturbing,” Harvey said. “You know, so again, we’re not sure what facts are what you know, there’s a lot of different stories and a lot of information.”
Lauren went to Cancun herself to search for her father last week. She worked with a local man who helped guide her and served as a translator while they posted missing-person flyers in different areas of the city.
She said the trip was productive, but she’s still worried about her father’s safety.
“I went to Cancun, showed them my passport, confirmed that I was my dad’s daughter, and I give them a DNA sample in case they were to find a John Doe or someone who didn’t have a passport to identify him as my father,” Lauren said. “We also met with a lawyer who helped file a legal proceeding that will basically hold people accountable who said that they are going to help find my dad.”
She said they distributed hundreds of flyers to local people in the street and have heard from many that they did see her father in Cancun.
“I feel like with each day that passes, my fears of his safety just grow,” Lauren said.
Lauren is fundraising to help pay people in Mexico who are helping search for her dad. If you’d like to help, click here.
We have reached out to Sen. Marco Rubio’s office for more information on how they’re aiding with the search efforts, but we have not heard back.
If you know anything or have seen Robert, call the Commission of Missing Persons for the State of Quintana Roo at (52) 998-881-7150 or contact Texas Equusearch at 281-309-9500.