published: Thursday, March 14, 2013
HCSO assisting Coast Guard
Special to the News-Sun
SEBRING - The Highlands County Sheriff's Office has been requested to assist the United States Coast Guard with an investigation of a suspicious disappearance. The Coast Guard and the New Smyrna Beach Police Department are looking for anyone who might have seen or been in contact with Enrique Bernardo Hernandez from Feb. 6 to March 4, 2013.
On Feb. 6, 2013, Hernandez was reported to have taken his vehicle, boat and trailer from his Apopka home during the early morning hours and travelled to a boat ramp in New Smyrna Beach. Hernandez was reported missing later that day. An exhaustive sea and air search was conducted by the United States Coast Guard and other law enforcement agencies. While his trailer and vehicle were located at the boat ramp, neither Hernandez nor his boat was located.
According to Nell Hayes, public information officer for the Highlands County Sherriff's Office, on March 4, 2013, Hernandez contacted his family and told them he was in Avon Park. On that same day an Avon Park resident took him to his Apopka home. Hernandez then travelled back to New Smyrna Beach and met with police detectives there.
The Coast Guard is attempting to locate witnesses who can help account for Enrique Bernardo Hernandez's activities and whereabouts between Feb. 6 and March 4, possibly here in Highlands County.
Anyone with information is requested to contact Highlands County Sheriff's Detective Hank Smith at 402-7382. Anyone with information who wants to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS(8477), or contact via the Internet at www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com.
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