Sisters worried about missing woman, concerned about children

(Source: Debbie Pearson )
(Source: Debbie Pearson )
Gayle McCaffrey is seen at the circus earlier this month with her two sisters. (Source: Debbie Pearson )
Gayle McCaffrey is seen at the circus earlier this month with her two sisters. (Source: Debbie Pearson )

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - When Helen Banach and Debbie Pearson learned that their sister had been reported missing Sunday they couldn't believe it. Even though the sisters say Gayle and Robert McCaffrey were having marital problems, their sister's disappearance just doesn't add up.

"Somebody made a mistake, that doesn't make sense. It's not something that would happen," Pearson said. "That's not the type of people we are. It's just not her."

According to investigators, Robert McCaffrey called 911 Sunday and reported his wife, Marjorie Gayle McCaffrey, missing. Banach and Pearson say they last spoke to their sister Saturday as they were planning to take their families on a boat outing.

"We spoke with her Saturday morning. We were doing a big family outing and inviting her and the kids," Pearson said. "We were going to spend a day on the boat, but she had plans in the neighborhood."

An incident report states that both Robert and Gayle McCaffrey went to dinner Saturday, and following a verbal argument, Robert drove to a family home in Easley. Robert McCaffrey told authorities that when he returned the following morning, Gayle was nowhere to be found.

The sisters say it has been hard on both of them and their families since they haven't heard from their sister. Banach says that the couple had marital problems.

"We know there were some marital problems and she had talked to us about it," Banach said."She was working on being a family and that was all she was interested in. There was no indication that she would have gone off at all. "

Banach and Pearson say the couple was working through their issues.

"They were having problems, but they were working through them," Pearson said.

Pearson said she spoke to Robert McCaffrey on Tuesday night and said she is worried for him since the Department of Social Services has taken the couple's children.

"I'm worried he's alone. His family has not joined him, he's totally alone in all this," Pearson said. "He's hurting because he's a likely suspect and that's even more pressure on him. He's alone, no one should ever be alone."

The siblings also have concerns over Robert and Gayle McCaffrey's children who were taken from the home by DSS on Sunday following the missing report.

"One of the most important things is to make sure that those kids are safe, loved and they're not scared," Banach said."We're very worried about their state of mind right now."

Both Banach and Pearson say that they've heard different scenarios of what might have happened.

"None of the scenarios make any sense at all. None of them sound right," Banach said.

Both women want answers in their sister's disappearance.

"We've gone through them in all our heads, nothing makes sense." Pearson said.

The sisters say they don't believe that Gayle McCaffrey would have just left her kids and not contacted anyone.

"If she would have hit a point, she would have called one of us and told us that and given us the children," Pearson said. "She would  not have just left."

Pearson and Banach say that in the past when something has come up, Gayle would leave her kids with one of the sisters who live within 30 minutes of the West Ashley home.

"Call us. Come home. Her children need her," Banach said. "Everyone here loves her. She's a sweet person and she doesn't deserve to be hurt."

On Wednesday morning, investigators searched a marsh near the couple's home in West Ashley, but the search came up empty.

"We know the police have been checking the rivers, we came down today to see about that," Pearson said. "It turned out to be nothing and that's something we're grateful for."

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