Ajijic resident Robert W. Cantrell II left the United States for Cancun in late June of this year and has been missing since. His family reports the state department confirmed Mr. Cantrell’s arrival in Cancun on June 20th of this year. He apparently left a panicked message on his ex-wife’s phone around that same time, stating he had been robbed of all his belongings, including his wallet, passport and phone and was trying to make his way back to his home in Jacksonville, Florida.
Mr. Cantrell was not heard from again but did surface in a livestream on Israel Vega’s Facebook platform Noticias Impacto QR on June 29th. Wearing only underwear and clearly injured, he identified himself as “Roberto.” Mr. Cantrell appeared incoherent and was taken to a nearby hospital, only to be released a short time later. Mr. Vega has shared Robert Cantrell’s missing poster on Noticias Impacto QR several times since the initial encounter. A precious few photos of Mr. Cantrell have come to light as late as mid-July, giving family and friends hope that he can be rescued from his perilous situation.
It is reasonable to assume that the trauma of his plight, possibly combined with the confusion created by his unmedicated high blood pressure, led to a mental break that has caused Mr. Cantrell to not seek help on his own. In addition to providing local police in Cancun with a DNA sample, Cantrell’s family employed the services of the nonprofit, Texas EquuSearch, to assist in their quest to bring Robert home. Although some headway was made, the caseworker in Cancun was unable to successfully bring Mr. Cantrell home.
A group of Mr. Cantrell’s friends here in Ajijic have scraped together a 20,000 peso reward for any person in Cancun who can lead Mr. Cantrell safely to the Cruz Roja. Fliers advertising the reward are being distributed through soup kitchens and other outreach organizations. This effort is spearheaded by Mr. Cantrell’s friend and personal assistant, Val Jones.
“I have been sick with worry,” Jones admitted. “I’ve barely been able to sleep since Robert went missing.”
Though relatively new to the Lake Chapala area, Mr. Cantrell had already begun to set down roots in the community. He is a member of the Lake Chapala Jewish Congregation, a pickleball enthusiast and an avid supporter of the LGBTQ community both here and in the United States. Mr. Cantrell contributed to last year’s Thrill the World event which benefited the Tepehua Community Center and had planned to support this year’s event as well.
Friends and concerned citizens are encouraged to share Mr. Cantrell’s missing poster on their social media platforms, a digital copy of which is available in the online version of this article. Those who have a connection to Cancun are especially encouraged to share the information. With love, luck and focused attention, the prayers of Robert Cantrell’s friends and family will be answered by his safe return.
[Ed. Note: Robert Cantrell also has contributed to El Ojo del Lago.]
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com