Robert Wiles, 26, Missing Since April 1
Agents with the FBI are assisting
local authorities in Lakeland, FL investigating the alleged
kidnapping of the 26-year-old son of a Toledo, OH businessman from
the local airport.
The Tampa Tribune reports Robert Wiles, 26, was last seen at
6:30 pm April 1, at his workplace at Lakeland-Linder Regional
Airport. Wiles is the son of Thomas Wiles, owner of Toledo-based
National Flight Services; Robert Wiles is the business development
manager at the company's branch at LAL.
"They were sent a ransom note," Dave Couvertier, spokesman for
the FBI office in Tampa, told CNN. "A threat was made. His parents
were told to follow directions, but they heard nothing back."
Robert's parents say they received a ransom note two days after
he disappeared, and followed its directions... but they haven't
heard anything since. To date, no one has come forward with new
information about Robert's disappearance, prompting Thomas and his
wife, Pamela, to make an emotional appeal to the kidnappers last
"Robert was..." Thomas Wiles began at a press conference Friday,
before being corrected by his wife. "Is," she prompted.
"Is," Thomas repeated. "He's a pilot with multiengine instrument
ratings. He's a diver, athlete, and a journeyman fisherman."
"Anyone out there who knows our son or has met our son knows the
enthusiasm that he has for life because you could see it in his
eyes and you can feel it in his handshake, which is firm and it's
genuine," Pamela Wiles added. "Robert loves life, he loves nature,
and he believes in God."
The Wileses repeated their request to the kidnappers, or to
anyone with information about Robert's disappearance, to contact
"If anyone knows where he is, we need to speak with Robert,"
Pamela Wiles said. "We'll do anything we can to get our son back
and bring him home safe. Our son knows how to reach us. He has our
numbers. And the only thing that matters to us is for our son to
come home safely."
The Wileses told the FBI they have no clue why anyone might want
to kidnap, or otherwise harm, their son.
In business since 1972, National Flight Services is an aircraft
maintenance, repair and overhaul facility. In addition to its
Toledo headquarters and the Lakeland operation, NFS also has
locations in San Antonio, TX and Toronto. The company reported $8.5
million in sales for 2007, and employs 105 people.
The FBI reportedly has few leads, but adds it is pursuing
"persons of interest."