Details of Disappearance Provost was employed as a civilian merchant seaman on the U.S. Navy ship Bold during August 2002. The ship docked in San Diego, California and Provost told people he was going south to Tijuana, Mexico. He never returned to the Bold and has never been heard from again.
His family originally thought he left voluntarily, but they now suspect that he was the victim of a kidnap/robbery in either San Diego or Tijuana. His ship later set sail without him and he was not reported missing until August 23, two days after his disappearance.
Provost mentioned to his grandmother prior to his disappearance that he was unhappy on the Bold, but he did not give any reasons for his displeasure. The ship's mission was highly classified.
Provost's ATM card was used at three Tijuana locations after his disappearance, between 10:07 p.m. on August 21 and 7:18 a.m. on August 23. About $1,300 to $1,400 was withdrawn from his account.
After Provost's disappearance was discovered, his account was frozen. His loved ones say he is frugal man who would be unlikely to withdraw that much money all at once.
Provost's check card was used at the Hotel Libertad, a cheap Tijuana hotel. The clerk claimed that he had paid $35.24 for one night's lodging for a man named Juan Marquez. However, the signature on the receipt had apparently been forged; it was not in Provost's handwriting.
Sometime after Provost's disappearance, his Florida driver's license was mailed home to his family. It is unknown who sent it. His name was misspelled on the envelope, which was postmarked San Diego and had no return address.
Weeks after he disappeared, Provost's grandmother got a telephone call from a woman with a Spanish accent who asked "David? David?" and hung up. She also got a call from a man who spoke to her Spanish. Provost's grandmother does not speak Spanish and could not understand most of what was being said, only the phrase "no policia."
The calls were made to Provost's grandmother's new phone number which she had given Provost before he left for the ship. Neither one could be traced. She believes they may have been ransom calls. Inquiries to hospitals, police stations and morgues in Mexico have not turned up any information about Provost's whereabouts.
Provost speaks Spanish and English fluently. He has visited Costa Rica fifteen times, and hoped to purchase land there someday. None of his friends in Costa Rica or anywhere else have heard from him since his disappearance.
He dropped out of high school and eventually graduated from the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education in Piney Point, Maryland. He was raised by his grandmother from the age of eleven because he didn't get along with his stepfather.
Provost's family lives in Lutz, Florida. They say it is uncharacteristic of him to disappear and not contact his loved ones. Provost also does not drink heavily or use drugs. He is described as introverted and not streetwise. He is a bodybuilder and has a red belt in tae kwan do. His case remains unsolved and foul play is suspected.
- San Diego Police Department
Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated January 30, 2011; clothing/jewelry description added, distinguishing characteristics updated.