The body of 62-year-old Brad Gunther was discovered by family members a week ago. Now investigators in Florida are calling it a homicide and have a warrant for the arrest of Michael Paul Rodgers.
“Our office working with the sheriff’s office has obtained a warrant for homicide and has put a detainer on Mr. Rodgers.”
Michael Rodgers is a convicted sex offender, found in Louisiana using Gunther’s credit cards and passport. He remains in a Louisiana jail.
“There was some actions on the part of Mr. Rodgers, some activities over the computer and use of credit cards that led us to believe that he was our person,” says Escambia County Florida Sheriff David Morgan.
Gunther was an avid sailor. Last month, on board his 48-foot sailboat “Reliant”, he set sail for a trip to Port St. Joe. When his family didn’t hear from him they called authorities. “He left from Gulf Shores on the 28th of March. He fueled at The Wharf. He then proceeded to Ft. McRee,” recalled his son Rob.
That’s where the boat was discovered but Gunther was nowhere to be found. Until last Friday when a search by family members turned up the unthinkable. “They noticed a shovel standing up,” says Morgan. “Mr. Gunther’s family had initiated their own search.”
Investigators won’t say how Gunther was killed, whether there was any sign of struggle on the boat or if they found the dinghy missing from the sailboat. Their focus at this point is getting Rodgers back to Florida and that could take months if he fights extradition.