NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The search for missing woman Gayle McCaffrey is now being investigated as a homicide, and her husband has been named as a suspect, Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon said Wednesday.
The sheriff said the 36-year-old woman's bank account has not been accessed since her Mar. 17 disappearance and a typed note left behind at their Limestone Boulevard home does not appear to be genuine.
"The contents of [that note] and what we're learning about both Bob McCaffrey and Gayle McCaffrey lead us to believe that the information in that note is bogus," Cannon said.
Gayle McCaffrey was reported missing by her husband, Robert McCaffrey on Mar. 18. The husband said he'd last seen McCaffrey around 10 p.m. before he left the residence to travel to Greenville County, investigators say.
On Wednesday, Cannon said Robert McCaffrey went to Greenville County to meet with a female love interest, but that meeting didn't "work out."
"We know there had been an argument, he left the home and drove to Greenville County, the northern part to meet a female," Cannon said. "I don't think what he hoped to accomplish with her occurred in terms of a relationship and the kind of conversation he wanted to have with her. I don't think the feelings that he had for her were returned by her."
Cannon said the love interest is cooperating with authorities, while Robert McCaffrey is not.
The sheriff added that all the evidence at this point is circumstantial, saying he would arrest Robert McCaffrey today if he had "probable cause."
"I think there is a tremendous amount of information and evidence pointing to him," Cannon said. "But at this point, it's circumstantial."
Cannon also said a new "significant" search is planned for Thursday at a piece of property on Highway 61 across from Drayton Hall. He said they will search there after receiving information from Gayle and Robert McCaffrey's cell phones.
Cannon said there was "nothing yet to indicate how Gayle McCaffrey died." According to Cannon, there was also nothing to suggest in the investigation that McCaffrey's kids had witnessed anything.
Authorities have performed numerous searches in areas near the McCaffrey's West Ashley home over the past month and a half, and they announced in late March they had developed a "person of interest," presumably Robert McCaffrey.
"We just want to thank Al Cannon and his team for all the hard work they are putting into this case," Gayle McCaffrey's sister, Debbie Pearson, said in a statement released after the press conference on Wednesday."They are working tirelessly to find Gayle. We would ask anyone wanting to help to continue to pray for the police. If anyone has information, please call Crime Stoppers."
Anyone who may have information in this case is asked to contact the Charleston County Sheriff's Office at 843-202-1700 or crime Stoppers at 843-554-1111.