Robert Wiles

What Happened To Robert Wiles?

Lakeland, FL – Back on April 1, 2008, a handsome young man from an affluent family disappeared without a trace. Robert Wiles, 26, is described by his loved ones as an athletic, charismatic, adventurous person with a fierce love for life; the water and flying particularly.

Robert had been working at the National Flight Services location in Lakeland, Florida at the time of his disappearance. It was part of his family’s multimillion dollar business. Robert was gradually being groomed to take over one day.

An astounding $750,000 ransom demand was sent from his cell phone, assuring Robert’s safe return in exchange for the money, and signed by Group X. Because of the nature of the family business involving travel to some rather risky places, they have ransom insurance policies on the employees, including Robert. Ignoring the advice of the FBI, Robert’s father, Tom Wiles, gathered the funds and traveled from Toledo, Ohio to Lakeland, Florida.

The ransom exchange came and went, without any attempt to retrieve the money on part of Group X.

48 Hours Mystery of CBS aired an episode titled “Ransom” outlining a thorough examination of the case. The report, by Peter Van Sant, illustrated a few potential theories surrounding the alleged kidnapping of the young man.

Tom, his ex-wife, and their two daughters fell under scrutiny, as it is common for loved ones to be considered and ruled out as suspects in these types of crimes. Other potential suspects emerged, one a disgruntled ex-employee fired over drug and alcohol addiction. The dismissed mechanic, Steve Lindsey, swore Tom would suffer, due to refusing to rehire or work with him. However, Lindsey denied any criminal involvement in the loss of Tom’s son.

Robert’s assumed killer, 44-year-old Stobert “Toby” Holt, Jr., had been a co-worker and the last reported person to see him alive. Holt was convicted and sentenced to a total of 30 years in prison. The jury deliberated for only four hours. Holt’s future loomed on charges of kidnapping, extortion, intent to inflict bodily-harm, and murder.

A Polk County Circuit judge slapped Holt with two consecutive 15-year sentences of manslaughter after the jury returned with guilty verdict. Consecutive sentencing means that when a criminal defendant is convicted on multiple counts, the sentences for each must be served one after the other, not concurrently. However, Holt still asserts his innocence to this day.

Holt and Wiles