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Missing Florida tycoon left watch, wedding ring at home, Coast Guard report says

Tara Todras-Whitehill / AP, file

Oil tycoon Guma Aguiar is seen in Jerusalem on Aug. 10, 2009. Police are searching for clues after Aguiar disappeared during a boat trip in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Life jackets and a leather prayer box that holds religious texts were found aboard a missing Fort Lauderdale, Fla., oil tycoon’s boat after it ran aground, but Guma Aguiar had left his watch and wedding ring at home, according to a new U.S. Coast Guard report.

More than two months after Aguiar, 35, vanished, the report offers new details and raises more questions about his mental state. His boat was last seen June 19 jumping waves hours before it washed ashore without him on it in Fort Lauderdale, its engines still running. Police found no blood on the boat and no evidence of foul play.

The Coast Guard report, compiled by several officers during the 48-hour air-and-sea search for Aguiar, was obtained by the Sun Sentinel through a Freedom of Information Act request.

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According to logs based on interviews and investigators’ notes, security cameras show Aguiar “leaving his house with a purpose” and getting on a boat. He was “not in a good frame of mind” due to financial problems, and he had an argument with his wife “over divorce,” according to the notes.

Cmdr. Darren Caprara told the Sun Sentinel that the notes don’t prove that Aguiar planned a suicide.

“We don’t truly know where something went wrong,” Caprara said. “We ask hundreds of questions to try and get any small detail to aid our search. What we are really trying to get to is what he could have done out there.”

All the life jackets on Aguiar’s boat were accounted for, and Caprara said the leather box, used by Jews during weekday prayers, “is just another lead. It could have meant that he had a resounding desire to live, and was a highly spiritual person.”

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Aguiar’s mother, Ellen Aguiar, told the Sun Sentinel she did not know her son’s rituals while he was boating.

“I can only speculate that when he left the house, he was upset and took things that gave him solace,” Ellen Aguiar said.

Relatives have said that Aguiar did struggle with mental health problems and was stressed by lawsuits that threatened his financial assets. Friends have also said that he loved his wife and children and can’t imagine he’d intentionally leave them.

Ellen said she has not yet given up hope that her son will be found alive.

Aguiar’s boat floated onto the sand at 1:15 a.m. five hours after he left home on June 20. He remains a missing person case for Fort Lauderdale police. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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