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Citing New Evidence, Flagler Detectives Reopen Case of Robert Picard’s Disappearance in 1997

| December 9, 2014

Robert Picard has been missing since October 1997.

Robert Picard has been missing since October 1997.

Flagler County Sheriff’s detectives have reopened the 17-year-old case of Robert Patrick Picard, who went missing in western Flagler County in circumstances then-Sheriff Bob McCarthy called “suspicious.” The disappearance took place within days of the man’s trailer being burglarized by a man and three boys.

In early October, 1997, Maynard Rupert II, a 20-year-old resident of west Flagler County, was arrested, along with the three 15-year-olds, on burglary charges connected to the robbery of a mobile home rented to Robert Picard, 39 at the time. Picard rented the home from the parents of one of the three boys arrested.

By then, Picard had disappeared. When his landlord—John Pellicer Jr.–checked on him after not seeing him for so long, he found bloodstains in his home, and 160 marijuana plants with an estimated value (in current dollars) of $250,000. The four people accused of burglarizing the home said they knew nothing of his whereabouts. They’d stolen stools and stereo equipment, which was returned.

Detectives have recently discovered new information which has caused them to reopen the case, a sheriff’s news release stated this morning.

“We believe that someone may have information relevant to the disappearance of Mr. Picard and that at the time that person may have been reluctant to come forward out of concern for their own safety,” said Corporal Nate Koep of the Sheriff’s Office Persons Crimes Unit. “We want to provide the Picard family with answers about what happened to their loved one.”

Soon after the investigation started in 1997, a body was found floating in the Intracoastal Waterway, with a bullet to the head and a weight tied to it. Blood testing eliminated any connection between the body and Picard, according to McCarthy at the time.

The investigation then focused on one of the 15-year-old boys’ father, Claude John Pellicer Jr., 50 at the time. He was charged with tampering with evidence and neglecting to help police in the case, after admitting to placing items stolen from the mobile home into a bag and throwing the bag in the woods, according to a News-Journal account in 1997. Pellicer told deputies that he hid the evidence to “protect his son.” (At the time, Sue Pellicer, wife of Claude Pellicer Jr., was the tax collector in Flagler County.)

Pellicer was briefly back in the news 15 months ago when that same boy, Claude Pellicer III, was killed in a traffic crash, after losing control of his pick-up truck on County Road 2006, not far from the family home.

Rupert was eventually found guilty of trespassing and burglary. Then-Circuit Judge Kim Hammond withheld adjudication. Rupert served three years’ probation, which was ended in September 2000.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact Detective Mark Moy at 386/586-4899 or call Crime Stoppers at 888/277-8477. You may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.

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17 Responses for “Citing New Evidence, Flagler Detectives Reopen Case of Robert Picard’s Disappearance in 1997”

  1. String Cheese says:

    I have read the story twice and I am still not grasping what the new evidence is? Am I missing something? What is the new evidence?

  2. MaryJo says:

    “a body was found floating in the Intracoastal Waterway, with a bullet to the head and a weight tied to it.” Who was that? Was it ever solved? That should be reopened too if not. :)

    Prayers to the family…as this reopens it’s going to make some wounds very fresh. {{{Hugs}}} to them. Come on FCS, do your stuff! Get ’em.

  3. rick says:

    No the body found floating in the intracoastal was never solved. It was an adult male thought to be of European descent, possibly a Russian mafia type hit.

  4. Charles "Bub" Robson says:

    There are a number of unsolved homicides in this county, including several floaters in the inter coastal waterway near the FB, Leigh high cut near Searay Boats area. I understand those are of Eastern European decent.

  5. Informed says:

    I wish they would reopen the case of the Henderson family at the Beach Club resort which they ruled a murder-suicide. Both parents and child died with plastic bags tied over their heads.

  6. confidential says:

    Sooner or later the light will surface…

  7. confidential says:

    Totally agreed regarding the Henderson’s family, another faked murder suicide blamed on Kevin of killing his daughter Corey and wife Belinda and the three with a garbage plastic bag over their heads…?
    No wonder then Sheriff Fleming was gifted with a free costly membership at the Hammock Resort.
    Kevin Henderson was a financial adviser and probably when the stock market took a tumble after 9/11 and all investments went sour, someone inside the resort got even..? And was someone that the family knew and with confidence let them in….more than one individual for sure.

  8. Chuck says:

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Maybe Larry, Mo & Curly should stop with this personal vendetta and innuendo of new evidence about one family and do real detective work so that they can bring peace to the mans family. Feeding Flagler live the same bs every 6 months is hardly great investigating.

  9. annomymous says:

    That`s gotta be very hard on a family to never know what happened to their family member, I`ll pray they get some answers to this case to put this families mind at ease…… and hopefully find their family member to give a proper funeral and burial to, and put the perpetrator behind bars where they belong.

  10. annomymous says:

    @ Stringcheese , I was thinking same thing , and if you have new evidence, why are you asking us to call it in ?

  11. hello says:

    People in Flagler County are very vicious. How horrible is this. I want to get out NOW.

  12. Wolley Segap says:

    I pray that this is not an attempt at good press after all the negative we’ve been reading lately about our Sheriff and that it is infact something real.

    • Jay says:

      Agreed about the Henderson case, an investigation should be done, however, then Sheriff Donald Fleming was not gifted with a free costly membership at Hammock Resort, he was gifted with a 10% discount card on meals, there is a big difference there. You people need to get your facts straight, before making accusations, Mr. confidential, that is half the problem with some of the people in Flagler County.

  13. Claire Alexander says:

    Robert Picard was a criminal. The proof being the enormous amount of pot he was growing. That wasn’t just for personal consumption. Anytime you are involved with drugs, drug users and the low-lifes that accumulate in that sub-culture you are putting your life in danger. As long as the people of Flagler county/Palm Coast continue to harbor criminals and tolerate drug use in their communities there will continue to be high rates of crime. People know who these drug dealers are and they know who they are selling to, turn them in, do it for your children and the children of your friends.

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