Details of Disappearance
Aguiar was last seen in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at sunset on June 19, 2012. Home surveillance video showed him leaving his private dock on southeast Tenth Street alone aboard his 30-foot Jupiter center-console boat, the T.T. Zion; a neighbor saw the boat speeding and leaving a large wake in the canals.
Aguiar passed through Port Everglades in four- and five-foot swells, jumping waves and moving quickly. No one was apparently following him. Boating conditions that night were bad with thunderstorms in the area and 20-mile-per-hour winds, and there was a small craft advisory in effect.
Aguiar traveled north along the coast of Fort Lauderdale and, about four miles offshore, began having trouble steering. The tie road that enabled his boat's twin outboard engines to work together was broken. According to data retrieved later from the GPS and engines, the T.T. Zion sped up and slowed down several times while its starboard engine was out of control, and both engines suddenly stopped running at 7:54 p.m.
About six hours later, the unoccupied boat washed ashore on the beach near the Elbo Room bar. The navigation lights were on, the keys were in the ignition and the throttle controls were in the forward position, but the engines weren't operating. Aguiar's wallet, cellular phone and some clothes were aboard.
A two-day search by the Coast Guard, covering an area the size of Rhode Island, turned up no sign of Aguiar. If he accidentally fell overboard, his body was probably pulled north by the ocean current while the easterly winds pushed the boat towards the coastline.
Aguiar was born in Brazil and moved to Florida as a young child. He and his wife had four children. He left behind a $100 million estate; he had made a fortune in oil and gas. He was a practicing Jew with a Jewish mother and a Christian father, and split his time living between the United States and Israel.
He was declared legally dead in January 2015 at the request of his wife and mother-in-law; the petition said his death was an accidental drowning. His body has never been found.