Police searching missing man’s Cape Coral home for leads

Reporter: Emma Heaton, Justin Kase Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Missing man Barry James Schmalbach, 56, from Cape Coral, vanished without anyone seeing or hearing from him in a week, and now police are investigating his home for clues.

Cape Coral Police detectives deemed Schmalbach’s disappearance considered suspicious on Wednesday.

Thursday morning, investigators were seen searching Schmalbach’s home on Beach Parkway in Cape Coral for leads.

Cape Coral detectives and the forensic investigators were walking in and out of the couple’s apartment.

While Cape Coral police won’t say if Davis is a person of interest, neighbors told WINK News that investigators appear to be keeping a close eye on him.

Lou Rozman, neighbor, said that he talked to Davis.

“He was standing over there by the pool,” Rozman said. “All the cops are here. And I was like, ‘hey, man, what’s up?’ he’s like, ‘hey,’ and I’m like, ‘you know what’s going on?’ and he said, ‘yeah, they’re searching my condo.’ I was like, ‘oh, that’s no good.’ Yeah. And he said, ‘yeah, my boyfriend’s missing.’ I said, ‘oh.'”

WINK News saw Davis by the same pool on Thursday.

When approached, he yelled out “No. No. No. Don’t come over here,” and refused to speak.

The police report said Schmalbach’s boyfriend, Christopher Davis, and Schmalbach got into an argument while at Cruiser’s Lounge a day before his disappearance. Then, Schmalbach’s friends went to check on him on Friday. The next day, police got involved.

Schmalbach’s friends told WINK News that they believe he needed their help breaking up with his boyfriend and more specifically, kicking him out of Schmalbach’s apartment.

“My concerns are in all honesty, if there’s foul play involved for him to be disappeared, you know, have disappeared this way,” said Tom Wilson, Schmalbach’s friend.

Close, lifelong friends of Schmalbach revealed to WINK News that the 56-year-old has a serious heart condition after suffering a heart attack.

They said that he recently spent 27 days in the hospital and depends on the heart medications he regularly takes.

They said that if he doesn’t have them with him, they fear the worst.

Cape Coral police didn’t take anything out of the home, but they were seen taking pictures of the scene.

“There could be information on where he went,” said Rich Kolko, safety and security specialist. “Just looking at his computer, you know, what did he look up the last few days? Who did he call the last few days? So, certainly they want to find that information. We talked about him being sick and needing medicine. If he went on a planned trip, did he take that medicine?”

WINK also reached out to Cape Coral police to see if they towed away Schmalbach’s car that wasn’t there Friday but was somehow returned on Saturday, covered in mud.

They never responded, but the police report reveals that it was spotted in the Fort Myers area several times after Schmalbach was last seen.

“Cars are able to be tracked,” Kolko said. “There’s license plate readers, there’s Sunpasses if you’re doing tolls. If you have a cell phone, you’re leaving a trail of pinging cell phone towers. So, what police want to do is, they know that car was away from the home a certain number of days. They want to try and track that car.”

It was later discovered that Davis gave CCPD false information when identifying himself. Consequently, after investigating matters further, arrest warrants for Davis were discovered in South Carolina and Georgia. However, law enforcement says neither appears to be extraditable.

WINK has also learned that the Marco Patriots, who sometimes perform search and rescue missions in the aftermath of disasters, searched the neighborhood on Tuesday, looking for signs of Schmalbach.

They’d like Schmalbach’s family to reach out to them and let them know if there are any locations they’d like the group to search next.

This is an active investigation, and WINK News will update this article with more information when it becomes available.

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