John and Liz Calvert disappeared on March 3, 2008, from their home Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. Hometown Homicide investigates why the couple vanished without a trace from this tightknit community.
The last person to see them alive was their former accountant Dennis Gerwing. The Calverts had gone to his office one evening in a planned meeting to confront Gerwing about stolen money. Gerwing had embezzled up to $2.1 million from the Calverts and seven other employees.
Police believe that Gerwing is probably responsible for the couple’s disappearance; however, he has never been charged because he committed suicide a week after the Calverts vanished.
Gerwing knew he was the prime suspect when he slashed his wrists with a steak knife in a bathtub. He left a note where he confessed to embezzling money, but he never mentioned the Calverts. He didn’t confirm or deny his involvement in their disappearance.
The Evidence against Dennis Gerwing
Gerwing had met the Calverts at his office on March 3rd; earlier in the day, he had told co-workers not to come in as maintenance was being done on the computers, so he made sure he had the place to himself. On the day, he also bought three heavy-duty dropcloths and a box of latex gloves.
He is known to have lied to the police about his whereabouts and which car he was driving. Surveillance footage revealed him to be lying. When interviewed, he was found to have a cut on his hand and, he was spotted buying bandages after his meeting with the Calverts.
A search of his house uncovered a shovel with dirt on it and a holster missing a gun. Gerwing’s cellphone was switched off during an 11-hour window on the night of March 3rd to 4th; Police believe he murdered the couple in his office and then used this time to dispose of the Calvert’s remains and remove any evidence.
Finally, the car he claimed not to be driving on March 3rd had been thoroughly cleaned, and one of the seats had been removed.
Police believe Gerwing murdered the Calverts
Many questions remain, such as how an out of shape, overweight man could have killed two people on the 2nd floor of his office and removed two corpses from the building without arousing suspicion.
However, the police currently have no other suspects in mind. They do remain hopeful that someone will come forward shortly, giving relevant information that could provide the Calverts family some kind of closure.
In 2009 a court order declared the Calverts legally deceased. This was a formality to allow their business, now managed by Liz’s brother, to continue trading.
Follow the links to read about other Hometown Homicide crimes such as the chilling case of serial-killer Kenneth Lumpkin causing carnage in Georgia, or the terrifying case of 65-year-old MarthaRoberts who was kidnapped, raped, and murdered by a neighbor in rural Tennessee.
Catch the details of the case in Hometown Homicide at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.