LOS ANGELES – The FBI issued an arrest warrant for the brother of former NBA player Bison Dele on Friday, the day after Dele's sailboat was found in Tahiti.
Andrew Black, a spokesman for the San Francisco bureau of the FBI, said agents were seeking 35-year-old Miles Dabord, also known as Kevin Williams. He's the older brother of Dele, whose name used to be Brian Williams.
Dabord was being sought on an unlawful flight warrant issued by the FBI bureau in Phoenix, where he is suspected of trying to steal his brother's identity.
Black stopped short of calling Dabord a suspect in his brother's disappearance. The 33-year-old Dele hasn't been seen since July 8, along with his 30-year-old girlfriend Serena Karlan and Bertrand Saldo, the captain of Dele's 55-foot catamaran.
The boat, which Dele named the Hakuna Matata, was found docked in the Tahitian town of Taravao on Thursday. No one was on board, but it had been repainted and renamed Arabella, Black said.
The three people were planning to sail from Tahiti, in the south Pacific Ocean, north to Honolulu.
Police in Phoenix detained Dabord on Sept. 5 after he allegedly said he was Brian Williams and signed receipts with that name while trying to buy $152,000 in gold. He showed his younger brother's passport as identification before he was taken into custody by police, Black said. Dabord then was released without being arrested.
"We're anxious to find him," Black said. "We believe he has information that's going to shed light on the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of these three individuals."
Mexican police under the direction of the FBI located a hotel room in Tijuana where clothing and personal items belonging to Dabord were found Thursday, authorities said.
Black said 16 FBI agents were heading to Tahiti, and that others were involved in the search for the missing three people.
"We're hoping this has a very positive outcome, but keep in mind we're talking about individuals who haven't been heard from for more than two months," he said.
Dabord had sailed with Dele and Karlan earlier this summer.
Dele, a member of the Chicago Bulls' NBA championship team in 1997, changed his name in 1998 to honor his American Indian ancestry. Dele played in the NBA for nearly eight years with Orlando, Denver, the Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago and Detroit, averaging 11.0 points and 6.2 rebounds in 413 regular-season games. He last played in 1999 with the Pistons.
The brothers' mother, Patricia A. Phillips, was contacted by phone at her home in Santa Monica, Calif., and she said the FBI had asked her not to speak to the media.
"It has been an incredibly draining experience for her," said Dele's agent, Dwight Manley. "There are two sons she's worried about, not just one, and there are two other people and two other families involved, too."
Manley said he's trying to stay positive, but finding it difficult.
"All the facts that keep unfolding, they don't bode well," Manley said. "The brother's missing in Mexico. The boat's been found, and the name's been painted over."