Name: John L. Calvert
Age: 47 years old
Last seen: March 3, 2008
Location: Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Status: Still Missing
Disappeared: Season 2 Episode 5 “Lost Trust”
47 year old John Calvert was last seen in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina on March 3, 2008. He vanished along with his wife, Elizabeth Calvert, shortly after meeting with a business associate who was embezzling money from them.
John grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina. He graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1983.
In 1988, John married his wife, Elizabeth Calvert. The couple moved to a house off Peachtree Road in the Brookhaven neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia. They also lived part-time on their 40-foot yacht, the Yellow Jacket, docked at the Harbour Town marina.
For many years John worked for several power companies, including Duke Energy. In 2001, he took semi-retirement before venturing out on his own.
At the time of his disappearance, John owned four businesses on Hilton Head Island, including the company that operated the Harbour Town Yacht Basin and a vacation rental company that managed 125 properties.
On March 3, 2008, John arrived for a meeting with Dennis Ray Gerwing, a business associate with The Club Group, at the company office on Sea Pines Center in Hilton Head Island, around 6:00 pm.
His wife, Elizabeth Calvert, arrived a bit later after changing clothes on the couple’s yacht. The couple never returned home from the meeting and has not been heard since.
On March 4, 2008, Elizabeth’s brother filed a missing persons report to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office after they both missed business appointments and couldn’t be reached.
On March 7, 2008, a sheriff’s deputy found one of the couple’s three vehicles, a silver 2006 Mercedes E320, in the parking lot of the Marriott hotel in the Palmetto Dunes resort, a gated community six miles from the Harbour Town marina.
The couple’s cellular phones couldn’t be located, and were likely turned off after the meeting. Their bank accounts and credit cards showed no activity after their disappearance.
Dennis Ray Gerwing
54 year old Dennis Ray Gerwing, a certified public accountant working for The Club Group, was the last person known to have seen the couple.
John had hired The Club Group to handle administrative and financial services for his commercial properties. In December of 2007 the couple decided to terminate services with the company after Elizabeth noticed financial irregularities.
Gerwing told police that he met with John & Elizabeth Calvert on March 3, 2008 around 6:00 pm. He said the meeting lasted about fifteen minutes, and that they left his office around 6:30 pm, presumably for dinner.
On March 8, 2008, police obtained search warrants for Gerwing’s home at 8 Bent Tree Lane in Hilton Head Plantation, his office at 71 Lighthouse Road, and his two vehicles, a 2004 pewter-colored Toyota Avalon and a 2001 dark gray GMC Yukon.
Inside his home police found a shovel, muddy shoes, and an empty holster for a .22 caliber Beretta pistol that was never located.
Authorities discovered that before meeting with the Calvert’s on March 3, 2008, Gerwing purchased three heavy-duty drop cloths at a hardware store around 4:15 pm.
About an hour after his meeting with the Calvert’s, Gerwing suffered a laceration to his right hand for which he bought bandages and latex gloves at CVS pharmacy on Pope Avenue, around 7:15 pm.
The following day, Gerwing drove the vehicle he had been driving on the night of the couple’s disappearance to a car repair shop to have it thoroughly cleaned. One of the back seats in the vehicle was missing.
Person of interest in missing couple’s case found dead
On March 11, 2008, Gerwing was found dead in a locked bathroom of a villa in Sea Pines around 4:00 pm, just two hours after the Sheriff’s Office publicly announced him as a person of interest in the disappearance of John and Elizabeth Calvert.
Gerwing had been staying in the villa since police executed search warrants on his home. He was found covered in blood, lying on a comforter in the bathtub. He had slashed his right inner thigh, right inner calf, his left wrist, and right and left lower neck with a steak knife which was found at his side.
The cause of death was concluded to be suicide. Authorities approximated the time of his death sometime between 5:00 am – 9:00 am on March 10, 2008.
Final words found in bathroom
Two suicide notes were found inside the bathroom of the villa. The first one was written in pen on a bed sheet, but was described as nearly illegible.
The second note was an envelope filled with rambling financial details in which Gerwing acknowledged that he stole money from John’s businesses. However, nothing in the notes confirmed his involvement in their disappearance, nor was there any denial that he was responsible.
The Club Group company finances were audited by the FBI and the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. It was discovered that Gerwing had embezzled $2.1 million from the Calvert’s and seven other clients in a secret account.
Foul play is strongly suspected in John Calvert’s disappearance. Authorities believe Dennis Ray Gerwing killed John & Elizabeth Calvert at The Club Group’s offices during their meeting before moving their bodies to his car.
The following day, Gerwing drove somewhere within a five or six hour driving radius of Hilton Head Island before burying their bodies in a shallow grave. Their bodies were never found, nor was the gun believed to be the murder weapon.
In November 2009, John Calvert was declared legally dead by a Georgia court, along with his wife, Elizabeth Calvert.
The circumstances of John Calvert’s disappearance remain unclear and his case is currently classified as missing. His case remains unsolved.
Caucasian male with gray hair and blue eyes. He is 5’8 tall and weighs 150 pounds.
Clothing and accessories:
John was last seen wearing a white pinstriped button-down shirt and khaki pants.
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of John Calvert please contact the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office at (843) 524-2777.
Resources & Further Information
2008 – Elizabeth and John Calvert – Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office
News & Media Links
Contents of suicide notes in missing couple case revealed – The Island Packet 03/08
Calverts, missing 9 months, dead and long-time suspect likely killed them, sheriff says – The Island Packet 12/08
Court offers details on how Harbour Town couple died – Go Upstate 11/09
Cold-case alert issued for Calverts who disappeared in 2008 from Hilton Head – The Island Packet 03/15
Calvert couple’s case still unsolved 9 years later – The Island Packet 03/17
‘They balance each other,’ friends said of John and Elizabeth Calvert – The Island Packet 03/18
Unsolved Mystery: Hilton Head SC’s John, Elizabeth Calvert – The Slate 03/18