Details of Disappearance
Hawkins was last seen in Riverview, Florida on September 25, 2007. That day his work van broke down and, at 7:39 p.m., his mother picked him and a friend, Jason Smith, up from a parking lot near State Road 60 and Interstate 75. Hawkins took three bags, containing work equipment and clothes, out of his van and put them in his mother's car.
Once she took him to her home, he asked to borrow his grandmother's orange 2002 Chevrolet Camaro. He said he would buy some parts and make repairs to his van, then return her car the next day. Hawkins's family never saw him again.
According to Smith, Hawkins went to meet a "preppy guy" in Town 'N Country, Florida to buy cocaine for resale, and Smith never saw him after that. When Hawkins's family heard the story, they contacted police. They were unable to report Hawkins missing for two more days, however.
In mid-2008, the case was removed from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office missing persons database and this fact wasn't discovered for two months. The sheriff's office said it had been a mistake and re-listed Hawkins as an endangered missing person.
Hawkins's grandmother's Camaro was found abandoned in the parking lot of a Lowe's store on Gibsonton Drive on October 31, over a month after he disappeared. The police returned it to his family. He left behind his own 1987 Nissan 300ZX, which he cherished. Authorities searched his home at the RV park, but they didn't find anything of interest.
A neighbor reported seeing Smith removing items from Hawkins's RV and into a truck a few weeks after Hawkins disappeared. Smith was later imprisoned on drug charges.
Hawkins has been in trouble with the law before; as a teenager, he was convicted of grand theft auto after he stole a BMW from someone he knew, drove it to another state and crashed it. He served time in prison and went through a period of probation.
He cleaned up his life after the conviction, started a carpet-installing business, and moved into Rice Creek RV Resort, where he was seen as a good and quiet neighbor. His case remains unsolved.