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Search for Guma Aguiar Called Off

Police have called off their search for wealthy industrialist and philanthropist Guma Aguiar, missing off the coast of south Florida.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 6/24/2012, 12:09 PM

Guma Aguiar
Guma Aguiar
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Police have called off their search for wealthy industrialist and philanthropist Guma Aguiar, missing since last week off the coast of south Florida.

Aguiar left his Ft. Lauderdale home, where he lives with his wife and three young children, to take his 31-foot fishing vessel out for a spin at around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, despite bad weather.

It was just before 7:00 p.m. when he boarded the T.T. Zion and left, according to police surveillance video broadcast on local Channel 4 CBS television news this weekend.

Investigators found Aguiar's phone and wallet, but no blood or sign of any struggle anywhere aboard the vessel -- nor anyone else -- when the boat drifted ashore on to Ft. Lauderdale beach about five hours later, a little after 1:00 a.m. Wednesday, with the motor still running and the lights on.

The Coast Guard searched for 70 hours from the sky and on the sea before calling off the effort – but not the investigation.

The 35-year-old Aguiar was born in Brazil and raised as a Christian but returned to his Jewish roots about 10 years ago. He has been a generous supporter of Jewish causes, particularly in Israel, where he is a strong donor to many Torah institutions and is credited with saving the Hapoel Jerusalem soccer team.