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Orange County Bar Association

Missing Orange County Man Presumed Dead

Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo
Photo of Robert Merle

Police still do not have any suspects or new information surrounding the disappearance of 81 year old Robert Merle Harrod of Placentia in Orange County, California. He was last seen by his son in law on July 27, 2009. Harrod left his glasses and car at his house. Jeff Michael, Harrod’s son-in-law, had been doing work around the house and left to go to Home Depot. When he returned Harrod was gone and the house was locked with the housekeeper waiting to have someone let her in. They went inside and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Both left the home after each finished their tasks. After Harrod’s daughters could not locate him by telephone they called Fontelle Harrod, their dad’s new wife who was getting ready to leave Missouri to join him in Orange County. They had been married on June 29, 2009 and she was flying in on July 29. Mrs. Harrod called in a missing person’s report and police have been investigating ever since. According to Harrod’s doctor his patient did not suffer from dementia, police say that even if he did, someone would have recognized him from media reports. There was no sign of forced entry to the house and there has been no activity reported for any of Mr. Harrod’s financial accounts. Police have looked into his new wife and his daughters as being suspects but there is no evidence that they were involved in kidnapping or killing Harrod. His wife Fontelle would have gained financially from Harrod’s disappearance but she had not been added to any of his accounts yet. It is an ongoing investigation and police are treating it as a homicide as Police Chief Jim Anderson explains ‘because you can’t go back in time and retrieve evidence.”

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