Possible Suspect's Suicide Follows Recent Business Split With Missing S.C. Couple

A business associate of a missing Hilton Head Island couple was found dead Tuesday after apparently committing suicide, but Beaufort County Sheriff Lieutenant Colonel Neil Baxley said Wednesday he would not release the details of a suicide note left by the man.

Authorities say the man, Dennis Gerwing, was the last person to see John and Elizabeth Calvert alive more than a week ago.

Gerwing's company, The Club Group, had been handling administrative and accounting for the Calverts, who leased and managed Harbour Town marina. But a few months ago, the Calverts decided to end business with The Club Group and Gerwing was leading the transfer of services.

Hours after he was identified publicly as a person of interest in the Calverts' disappearance, Gerwing's body found by his lawyer around 4 p.m. Tuesday in the bathroom of a resort condominium unit, according to a news release from the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

Gerwing left behind two notes that are being examined by state agents, and an autopsy has been schedule for Wednesday. Authorities would not disclose any other details of the death.

Gerwing, 54, was not cooperating with officers investigating the disappearance last week of John and Elizabeth Calvert, deputies said.

The couple remains missing.

Investigators searched Gerwing's home, office and vehicles Saturday. Police would not say what, if anything, was found.

Gerwing was listed as chief financial officer of The Club Group, a realty group that manages property on Hilton Head Island. According to the group's Web site, that includes boat slips for the Harbour Town marina leased and managed by the Calverts.

The phone at the office of Gerwing's lawyer, Dan Saxton, was not being answered Tuesday night.

Deputies said they think Gerwing was the last to see the Calverts together but would not say when the meeting took place.

The Calverts hired The Club Group more than two years ago to handle administrative, accounting and other services for their commercial holdings, said Mark King, president of The Club Group in a statement.

The couple decided to end its agreement with the group in December, and Gerwing was working on the details with the Calverts, King said.

King said he is saddened by the death of his longtime friend and business associate and by the disappearance of the Calverts.

"My prayers are that they will be found safe and unharmed," King said. "I am making every effort to fully cooperate with the authorities in whatever way that I can be helpful."

Tony Gibus, who met the Calverts in 2005 and manages several of the couple's companies on this slipper-shaped island near the Georgia border, has said he last saw John Calvert at the end of the work day March 3.

The Calverts live part time on their 40-foot yacht, the Yellow Jacket, at Harbour Town marina. Elizabeth Calvert, 45, also works as an attorney in nearby Savannah, Ga., and the couple own a home in Atlanta.

Friends and family say they started to worry when the dependable, prompt Calverts both failed to show up for business-related meetings March 4.

Authorities say the Calverts' cell phones have been turned off. The small airplane owned by Elizabeth Calvert, a pilot, was found undisturbed on the tarmac at the island's airport. The couple's cat was still on their yacht.

On Friday, investigators found the Calvert's car at a resort a few miles from the marina but said it contained no clues to their whereabouts. The next day, a dive team searched the marina but also came up with nothing.

Friends and co-workers planned to hold a candlelight prayer vigil Tuesday night at the Harbour Town marina.