Details of Disappearance Masoller, a construction contractor, traveled from his home in northern Virginia to Ocean City, Maryland in January 2005 to install roofing and siding. He was last seen at a the Bull on the Beach restaurant in Ocean City on on January 31. He was having dinner with one of his employees, Jose Damian Hernandez. He has never been heard from again. He was reported missing on February 3.
After his disappearance, police found evidence of a violent struggle and a great deal of Masoller's blood in his condominium at the Sea Mark on 63rd Street in Ocean City. Most of the blood was in the master bedroom next to the bed, but drops were also found in the kitchen and dining room. The stains were still damp when they were discovered.
All the bedding and linens, as well as a large futon mattress and a kitchen knife, were found to be missing from the condominium. Another large knife was found on the floor inside the residence. The amount of blood in Masoller's home indicated that he could not have survived his injuries.
Hernandez used Masoller's credit card after his disappearance. He later returned it to Masoller's family, saying he had been given permission to use it. He was arrested for possession of stolen property on February 8, 2005.
Authorities found Masoller's van, which had disappeared with him, parked at Hernandez's apartment in Columbus, Ohio. They also discovered that Hernandez had pawned some of Masoller's work tools the same day he disappeared. Hernandez was convicted of the charges in June 2005 and sentenced to five years in prison. He has since been released and deported to his native El Salvador.
There is a second suspect in the theft, Jose Roberto Orellana Romero, also known as Beto. Romero worked on Masoller's contracting crew and was one of the last people to see him prior to his disappearance. Romero is wanted for questioning about Masoller's disappearance and the theft of his belongings. Both Hernandez and Romero are from El Salvador and were in the United States illegally in 2005.
Authorities did not learn Romero's true identity until August 2005; he was initially thought to be named Roberto Garcia. He is described as 18 to 25 years old, with straight black hair and a medium build. Romero remains at large. He was last known to be living in Columbus, Ohio, but he may have returned to El Salvador. Hernandez and Romero are the prime suspects in Masoller's presumed murder.
Police believe Masoller's body was wrapped in bedding and dumped somewhere within a 30-mile radius of Ocean City. However, there is insufficient evidence to charge anyone in the disappearance.
Masoller's family says it is uncharacteristic of him to be out of touch with them. He was declared legally dead in June 2005 and a death certificate was issued. Foul play is suspected in his case, but it remains unsolved.
- Ocean City Police Department
Updated 6 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated January 22, 2010; details of disappearance updated.