Name: Felipe Santos
Age: 24 years old
Last seen: October 14, 2003
Location: Naples, Florida
Status: Still Missing
24-year-old Felipe Santos was last seen in Naples, Florida on October 14, 2003.
He disappeared on his way to work after being taken into custody by a Collier County sheriff’s deputy near the Green Tree Shopping Center following a minor traffic accident.
Felipe Santos was born on January 1, 1979 in Oaxaca, Mexico and was the second of five brothers.
Around the year 2000, Santos moved to the US and started working as an undocumented immigrant in Florida farm fields and construction sites. Most of his salary went back to his family, which included his wife, daughter, and parents who lived in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Santos was described as humble and hard working, and his hobbies included basketball and soccer. He speaks fluent Spanish and limited English.
At the time of his disappearance, Santos lived in Immokalee, Florida, and his wife had given birth to a daughter four months prior.
On the morning of October 14, 2003, Santos woke up not feeling well. His wife told him to stay home from work but he left at 6:30 am nonetheless.
He was driving with two of his brothers to a construction job when his white Ford struck another car near the Green Tree Shopping Center, at the intersection of Airport-Pulling and Immokalee roads in North Naples, Florida.
Collier County sheriff’s deputy, Corporal Steven Henry Calkins, was dispatched to the scene of the accident. The vehicle he was driving was registered to Santos, but he had no driver’s license.
Santos received a ticket for reckless driving, and driving without a license and insurance. He was taken into custody and put into the back of the patrol car before being driven away by Calkins.
Felipe Santos never made it to work and has not been heard from since.
Later in the afternoon, Santos’ construction foreman contacted the Collier County jail so his brothers could post bail, but he was told that Santos had never been brought into either of the county jails.
Deputy Calkins told investigators that he initially planned to arrest Santos for driving without a license. He later changed his mind and said Santos was being “very polite and cooperative”. He subsequently dropped Santos off at a nearby Circle K gas station, a mile away on Immokalee Road.
Santos’ brother filed a misconduct complaint with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office against Calkins after his brother’s disappearance, but the case was quickly cleared of any wrongdoing.
Terrance Deon Williams
On January 12, 2004, 27-year-old Terrance Williams, an African American cook, disappeared after being taken into custody with the same deputy, Steven Calkins, following a traffic stop.
Williams was driven off in the back of his patrol car and has not been heard from again.
Calkins claimed he dropped Williams off at a Circle K convenience store in the vicinity of Wiggins Pass Road and Route 41 in Naples, just four miles away from the store where he dropped Santos three months earlier.
Steven Henry Calkins
Calkins, a former Illinois farmer, was a seventeen-year veteran road deputy with a clean disciplinary record who had worked for the Sheriff’s Office since 1987. He is married and has three children.
He received commendations for helping to lift an overturned pickup off a man who was suffocating underneath. In 1997, he helped give CPR to a 78-year-old man suffering a heart attack.
In August 2004, Calkins was fired by the Collier County Sheriff’s Office for lying in the disappearance case of Terrance Williams, deception on a lie detector test, conduct unbecoming of an officer by using derogatory language, and for being negligent in not following agency rules and procedures.
Calkins appealed the ruling, but it was upheld and his dismissal stood. He refused to appear before a grand jury, was not charged with a crime, and subsequently moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with his family.
Calkins wasn’t charged with any criminal wrongdoing in the disappearances of Terrance Williams or Felipe Santos and he maintains his innocence in both cases.
Internal investigators found no obvious motive for Calkins to harm Santos or Williams, nor any criminal evidence linking him to either disappearance. They acknowledged the disappearance of the two men as “a coincidence in the extreme.”
Authorities also added that Williams and Santos were wanted by police, either just before their disappearances or just after, and they may have been purposely avoiding being found by law enforcement.
Santos was to appear in court for a hearing regarding the traffic accident he was involved in on the day of his disappearance. Fearing of being deported due to the citations from the accident, he may have left the United States and fled to Mexico. In November 2003, a warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to appear in court.
Former Collier County Sheriff’s Office deputy faces civil lawsuit in the disappearances of two Collier men
On August 30, 2018, Terrance Williams’s mother, with the help of celebrity filmmaker Tyler Perry, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Collier Circuit Court on behalf of his estate and his four children against Steven Calkins.
On December 30, 2020, the court-appointed arbitrator cited a lack of evidence to establish excusable neglect from Calkins into Williams’ death. The Williams family will not receive monetary damages, and the non-binding arbitration is now final as their attorney missed a deadline to file the motion to take the case to trial.
Police found no evidence, means or motive for foul play in Felipe Santos’ disappearance. No body was found, nor any evidence that he is still alive.
A $100,000 reward was offered by actor and producer Tyler Perry for critical tips that would lead to the remains of Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos or to an arrest in their disappearance. The reward was subsequently doubled to $200,000 on September 4, 2018.
Felipe Santos is presumed dead under Florida law, but the investigation into his disappearance is still open and active. The circumstances of Felipe Santos disappearance remain unclear, and his case is currently classified as a missing case. His case remains unsolved.
White hispanic male. Black hair with brown eyes. He is 5’7” tall and weighs 150 pounds.
Clothing and accessories:
Santos was last seen wearing a tee shirt, blue jeans and boots.
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Felipe Santos please contact the Collier County Sheriff’s Office (800) 780-8477 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477) or email a tip or call the Cue Center 24-hour tip line at (910) 232-1687.
Resources & Further Information
Disappearances of Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos – Wikipedia
Terrance Williams/Felipe Santos Investigations – Collier County, Florida Sheriff’s Office
Disappearance of Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos – Facebook
Felipe Santos – CUE – Center for Missing Persons
Felipe Santos #MP14651 – NamUS
News & Media Links
Without a trace, but strangely similar – St Petersburg Times 05/05
Still no answers about men last seen deputy – Naples News 01/06
Warm memories thaw cold cases – Naples News 06/07
Missing answer? Monday marks 5 years since man with Collier deputy disappeared – Naples News 02/12
Two vanish, spur searches – News press 04/12
Search teams hunt for men missing in cold case – ABC 7 News 04/12
Tyler Perry Brings Attention To Case Of Missing Florida Man – News one 06/12
Filmmaker gives $100K to thaw Florida cold cases – USA Today 01/13
Florida sheriff’s deputy murdered two men 15 years ago, lawsuit alleges – The Guardian 09/18
Former CCSO deputy faces civil lawsuit in decade-old disappearances of 2 Collier men – Naples News 09/18
Former Collier deputy sued over black man’s disappearance – Fox 4 News 09/18
Terrance Williams, Felipe Santos: What to know about missing men – Naples News 06/20
Tyler Perry posts about Collier disappearances of minority men last seen with ex-deputy – Naples News 06/20
Judge denies motion to dismiss lawsuit against former Collier County deputy – Wink News 06/20
Ex-deputy tied to missing Collier men Terrance Williams, Felipe Santos to face questions – Naples News 06/20
Family of missing man in Collier County ruled against in wrongful death lawsuit – Wink News 12/20
Florida wrongful death lawsuit envelops Cedar Rapids man, a former deputy – The Gazette 01/21
Ex-deputy tied to Collier missing men Terrance Williams, Felipe Santos prevails in lawsuit – Naples News 02/21
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