Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Parents of abducted man offer a reward

TAMPA — The parents of a missing Lakeland man announced a $10,000 reward Friday for information leading to his safe return.

Robert Arthur Wiles, 26, was last seen April 1 at National Flight Services, his family's business, where he worked as a business development manager. The business is located at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport.

FBI officials investigating the disappearance have classified it as a kidnapping.

FBI spokesman Dave Couvertier said Wiles' family discovered a ransom note April 3 and "aggressively responded," complying with its instructions and demands. They haven't heard anything since from the person who left the note, Couvertier said.

"We are worried about Robert. We love Robert, and we are seriously worried about his safety," said his mother, Pamela Wiles. "We will do anything we can to bring our son back and get him home safely."

Robert Wiles' parents, Thomas and Pamela, made their plea from the FBI's Tampa field office, as law enforcement officials made their first public statements about the kidnapping. The FBI is involved in the case because of the ransom note.

Couvertier released no information about the note's contents or how the Wiles have so far complied. He cited the ongoing investigation as the reason.

Investigators have this message to the person or persons who sent the ransom note: The Wileses have no way of knowing if you received their response to the demands. Contact them using the same name used in the note.

Couvertier said investigators have developed "individuals of interest" in the case. Leads from associates of Wiles have led investigators to Tampa, Lakeland, Orlando, Brevard, Sarasota, Fort Myers, Miami, Key West, Melbourne, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Thailand.

Robert Wiles' parents say he is a licensed pilot, a diver, an athlete and a journeyman fisherman. He is described as 5-feet-9, 165 pounds with hazel eyes and brown hair. He was last seen around 6:30 p.m. April 1.

Anyone with information about Wiles was asked to contact the FBI toll-free at 1 (866) 838-1153 or call the local police.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this story. Kevin Graham can be reached at kgraham@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3433.

Parents of abducted man offer a reward 04/25/08 [Last modified: Friday, April 25, 2008 11:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Buddy Brew Coffee to open downtown Tampa location

    Business

    TAMPA — Buddy Brew Coffee plans to open a new location in downtown Tampa at Park Tower. The specialty coffee craft roaster, which was founded in 2010, has five other locations throughout Tampa including the Oxford Exchange, Sarasota, Hyde Park Village and Terminal F inside the Tampa International Airport.

    A cappuccino is displayed at Buddy Brew in Tampa in January 2017. [CHARLIE KAIJO | Times]
  2. What you might have missed in the second episode of the Bucs on 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    We're back for another episode of The Annotated Hard Knocks, trying to find behind-the-scenes insights and things you might have missed in Tuesday's second episode of "Hard Knocks," following the Bucs in …

    As the crowd recognized him and got loud, Jameis Winston jumped up and down in celebration. [GREG AUMAN | Times]
  3. Review: 'The Defenders' brings out the best in Marvel's unlikeliest heroes

    Blogs

    The ties that bind Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist run deep. But they're just starting to figure all that out in The Defenders.

    Mike Colter, Scott Glenn, Finn Jones, Krysten Ritter and Charlie Cox in The Defenders.
  4. Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson can't keep 'The Hitman's Bodyguard' on-target

    Movies

    The Hitman's Bodyguard is an assault tank on semi-automatic pilot, spraying jokes and bullets with only the ammo consistently hitting its targets. The irresistible teaming of Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson might be even funnier if they missed once in a while.

    Samuel L. Jackson, left, and Ryan Reynolds star in "The Hitman's Bodyguard." (Lionsgate)
  5. Hillsborough leaders ask for patience as multiple schools still suffer from broken air conditioners

    K12

    TAMPA — Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins and his facilities chief appealed to parents Wednesday to be patient as the district works through chronic air conditioning problems — and to advocate for more state funding.

    Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins says air conditioning problems at multiple schools are a "major concern" for the district. [SKIP O'ROURKE  |  Times]