Robert Merle Harrod

Harrod, circa 2009

  • Missing Since 07/27/2009
  • Missing From Placentia, California
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 06/01/1928 (96)
  • Age 81 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'11, 140 - 170 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description White shorts, a white v-neck undershirt, white kneesocks, a white belt, a white hat, white Reebok sneakers, a plain gold wedding band on his left ring finger and possibly a Masonic ring with a red stone and a Masonic symbol on his right ring finger.
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Gold 1997 Toyota Camry (accounted for)
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Gray hair, blue/gray eyes. Harrods keeps his hair very short and it is thinning on the top. His nickname is Bob. He is supposed to wear eyeglasses, but they were left behind.

Details of Disappearance

Harrod was last seen at his residence in the 500 block of Carnation Drive Placentia, California sometime between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on July 27, 2009. He and his son-and-law were getting Harrod's new wife's arrival that day.

His son-in-law went to the store and when he returned at 1:00 p.m., he found the housekeeper locked out and waiting on the porch, and Harrod missing. His wallet and keys disappeared with him, but he left behind his gold 1997 Toyota Camry and his eyeglasses.

Harrod got married on June 29, a month before his disappearance, and his new wife, Fontelle Heeter, was about to move in with him, but he vanished before she arrived.

The couple had met and become engaged in 1950, but they were separated when Harrod joined the military and eventually both of them married other people. They reconnected by telephone after their spouses died and then met in person, and decided to get married only six days later.

Heeter was packing up her belongings at her home in Missouri in order to move in with Harrod in California, and he was preparing for her arrival and looking forward to it.

Although he lived modestly and drove an older model car, Harrod was worth approximately $5 million. Before he got involved with Heeter, he had been seeing a younger woman. He had lent this woman $86,000 over about nine months. After his second marriage, Harrod asked to be repaid. It isn't clear whether this woman or the debt had anything to do with his disappearance.

Harrod had planned to put Heeter's name on some of his assets, including some of his properties, but he disappeared before he could do that. A week and a half after he went missing, two of his children filed for conservatorship to get control of his assets. They wanted to put up a reward for his safe return, maintain his home and pay his bills.

Heeter contested the conservatorship application, moved into his home and changed the locks. In 2014, after Harrod's family had him declared legally dead and inherited his home, Heeter was evicted.

Authorities don't believe Harrod was harmed by a stranger. He had no known medical conditions when he disappeared, although he did have some short-term memory problems like being unable to remember phone numbers. His family doesn't believe he would have left without warning.

There has been no activity on Harrod's bank accounts or credit cards since he went missing. His hobbies include fishing and playing slot machines, and he left behind three daughters, a grandson and three great-grandchildren. His case remains unsolved and is classified as a possible homicide.

Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated June 16, 2017; two pictures added, details of disappearance updated.