HILTON HEAD, S.C. (WSAV) – Ten years ago, John and Elizabeth Calvert disappeared from their home at Sea Pines on Hilton Head Island. They’ve since been legally declared dead, but their bodies have never been found.
“The prominent couple vanished, March 3, 2008, without a trace; and ten years later, Hilton Head’s biggest mystery remains unsolved,” reads an excerpt from the book, “Deceit, Disappearance & Death”. It was published two weeks ago, co-authored by Pamela Martin Ovens.
“I lived here 39 years and I knew Dennis Gerwing, I knew John and Liz Calvert. I had worked with all of them in different ways. And so when the Calverts disappeared it was very interesting to try to figure out how to solve the mystery,” Ovens said.
Elizabeth Calvert was an attorney for UPS in Savannah. Her husband, John, handled boats in Sea Pines’ Harbour Town.
The couple disappeared the night they confronted their accountant Dennis Gerwing about stealing money from them.
“That was the last person to see them alive. And after that evening on the 3rd, the next day, Dennis was going around town saying, ‘I think I’m the last person to see them alive!'” Ovens said.
When interviewed by investigators, Gerwing’s story didn’t add up.
“There was a lot of suspicious activity on the part of Dennis Gerwing right around the time that he was supposed to meet with them on Monday, March 3 of 2008,” said Capt. Bob Bromage with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office found Gerwing cut his hand that night and bought bandages, latex gloves, and three large drop cloths. Sheriff P.J. Tanner said in a press conference at the time that the drop cloths were big enough to wrap bodies.
A week later, Gerwing committed suicide.
“March 11, 2008, about a week after the disappearance,” Bromage said, “Dennis Gerwin had, in fact, committed suicide, which has been verified by numerous forensic pathologists.”
He left behind a note admitting to embezzling money from the Calverts but didn’t mention their disappearance.
“It was highly suspicious… but Dennis Gerwing in those notes did not take the opportunity, knowing he was the primary person of interest in a missing person case, to deny or confirm it,” Bromage said.
Everyone who has heard the case has their suspicions…
“He probably did kill the Calverts,” Ovens said, “But he was not a bad person. He was a good person that did a bad thing.”
Ovens and a colleague, Charlie Ryan, wrote the book “Deceit, Disappearance & Death” about the couple’s disappearance, and they’re determined there’s more to be written.
“Were the Calvert’s murdered? Was it a professional hit? Were they alive and in a witness protection program?” the book reads.
“Someone’s keeping something a secret…” Ovens said.
“We received hundreds of possible leads of the last 10 years,” Bromage said, “We follow them up, but none have led us any closer to actually bring result of this case.”
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of John and Elizabeth Calvert, you can make an anonymous phone call to SC Crimestoppers at 1-888- CRIME-SC (274-6372).