Details of Disappearance
Santos was last seen in Naples, Florida on October 1, 2003. He was driving to work with two of his brothers when, at 6:30 a.m., his white 1988 Ford hit another vehicle near the Green Tree Shopping Center at Airport-Pulling Road and Immokalee Road.
No one was hurt in the accident and damage to the cars was minor. A Collier County sheriff's deputy, Corporal Steven Henry Calkins, arrived at the scene and cited Santos for reckless driving and for driving without a license or insurance. He then put Santos in the patrol car and drove away.
Later that day, Santos's boss contacted the local jail to bail him out and found out he had never been booked. When questioned, Calkins said he had changed his mind about taking Santos to jail and had instead given him a ride to a Circle K convenience store about a mile away from the site of the accident. He last saw him walking towards the pay phones.
Santos has never been heard from again. After his disappearance, his brother filed a complaint against Calkins with the sheriff's office, but Calkins was quickly cleared of any wrongdoing.
Oddly, Calkins was also the last person to see Terrance Williams, who disappeared in January 2004, a month after Calkins was exonerated in the Santos case. Calkins says he dropped Williams off at a Circle K convenience store in Naples.
Williams remains missing. His parents filed another complaint against Calkins after their son's disappearance and the deputy was subsequently fired by the police department. An internal investigation found that he had lied about the Williams case and violated agency policy.
Calkins, a seventeen-year veteran of the police department, had a clean record prior to this incident. He appealed the ruling, but it was upheld and his dismissal stood.
He has not been charged in the disappearances of Williams or Santos and maintains his innocence in both cases, stating that both men had reasons of their own to walk away and he himself was being treated as a scapegoat by the police department. He took three polygraph tests about the Williams and Santos cases, and one of the tests showed evidence of deception.
Santos is a Mexican national and was in the United States illegally at the time of his disappearance. He had been living there for three years and was employed as a concrete/masonry worker at the time he vanished, sending money back to his family in Mexico. His wife and young daughter live in Oaxaca, Mexico, as does his father.
In November 2003, a warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to appear in court for a hearing regarding the accident he was in the day he vanished.
No evidence of foul play has been uncovered in Santos's case, and investigators believe he may simply be lying low to avoid being arrested, but the circumstances surrounding his disappearance are unclear. Checks of United States consulate offices and Mexican passport offices have turned up no indications as to his whereabouts.
Santos resided in the 100 block of south 6th Street in Immokalee, Florida at the time of his disappearance. His case remains unsolved.