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Mother of missing Florida tycoon says she won't give up

Ellen Aguiar

The mother of missing Fort Lauderdale, Fla., millionaire Guma Aguiar says that he was having marital problems before he disappeared.

Ellen Aguiar also told NBCMiami.com that she is the kind of mother who never gives up hope.

“I never gave up hope on Guma in his life and I don’t intend to now,” she said in the first, exclusive interview she has given since her 33-year-old son vanished a week ago.


Ellen Aguiar said she last spoke to her son just hours before his fateful boat trip. The last known image of him is steering his boat into rough seas shortly after leaving his Fort Lauderdale home. The vessel later washed ashore.

Tara Todras-Whitehill / AP file

Oil tycoon Guma Aguiar disappeared during a boat trip in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. His fishing boat washed ashore with the engine running June 19. His wallet and phone were on the boat, but Aguiar was nowhere to be found.

Guma Aguiar called his mother last Tuesday.

"He wasn't really agitated but he was definitely preoccupied,” she recalled.

See the original story at NBCMiami.com

She said her son had had a lot on his mind lately, from stress at work to problems at home.

“He did mention that Jamie was going to be filing for divorce and he believed that it would be ready the next day,” she said.

Guma Aguiar made a fortune in 2006 when the Texas-based energy company he ran with his uncle was sold for a reported $2.5 billion, but he has been locked in a contentious legal battle with his uncle over money.

Earlier: Missing Florida tycoon's wife reportedly asked for divorce hours before he disappeared

Ellen Aguiar filed for control of her son’s estate last week, saying that she believed her son might have been in a delusional state or suffering from psychosis, according to court records. She amended that petition Monday, instead asking that a bank, a neutral third party, take control.

Jamie Aguiar has declined interview requests. She and Guma Aguiar have four children.

“There was an outcry from I guess Jamie and her attorney that I was trying to take over,” Ellen Aguiar said. “I would love to believe and I choose to believe that my daughter in law is going to act out of the purest motives, and that in grief we can make decisions that we then look at and can regret.”

She said she hopes that her son is still alive, and that when he is ready he will come back home.

“I am prepared to see him at my door. And I am prepared to hear that he didn't make it,” she said.

Guma Aguiar, a 35-year-old multi-millionaire and philanthropist, disappeared in Florida on Tuesday. Yesterday, his boat was found beached with the engine still running, but he was nowhere to be found.

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