CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- A Cape Coral man has been named southwest Florida's most wanted man. Garrett Kern is considered a person of interest in his stepfather, James Arthur's disappearance. Arthur's family has been out searching since he vanished last Thursday. Arthur's wife, Sally, says they believe the Cape Coral Police Department dropped the ball in the case.
Arthur's family wants to know how Kern got away when emergency responders showed up to Hustler's last week. That is the last place Kern was seen in this area. 911 was called after Garrett Kern made disturbing comments about this stepfather's well being.
"Why wasn't Garrett stopped when he was right there? You can play that damn thing over on every TV. Garrett walking in there, Garrett walking out of there. Why wasn't he stopped?" said Sally Arthur.
Crimestoppers told WINK News on Tuesday evening, crews that responded to the 911 call at Hustler's had to deal with a highly intoxicated woman who needed immediate attention.
That is when Kern was able to sneak away. Crimestoppers said Kern is in Illinois. Within the last 48 hours, he used up the rest of a food stamp card. They warn with his criminal past, he's very well equipped in the criminal world.
Arthur's family said they're very upset with how this case has been handled. WINK News took their concerns directly to the Cape Coral Police Department. Chief Jay Murphy, who is out of town, directed us to the public information officer.
The public information officer, Lt. Tony Sizemore, told WINK News "Not available today, I've left for today, I have a banquet tonight. Your request is very comprehensive. I cannot address all of that on cell phone today. Call tomorrow earlier and we can chat." - via email.
WINK News spoke exclusively with Kern's ex, Robyn Schmittling. The two have a daughter together. She didn't want to show her face, but she says she fears the worst for James Arthur.
"I know Garret would have harmed him. If he would have, it would probably have been over money. He's angry, he's violent people need to be careful if they do seem him," said Schmittling.
Crimestoppers said the Cape Coral Police Department and the U.S. Marshal's Office are working very closely together to find Kern. WINK News will be in contact with the Cape Coral Police Department first thing Wednesday morning to follow up on the family's concerns.