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Cape Coral Police suspect foul play in the disappearance of Barry Schmalbach

Investigators have a person of interest in the case
Barry Schmalbach
Posted at 12:39 PM, Aug 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-04 18:15:09-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Cape Coral Police Chief Anthony Sizemore on Friday said investigators suspect foul play was involved in the disappearance of 56-year-old Barry Schmalbach. They have also said there's a person of interest in the case, though did not say who that person is.

Cape Coral Police Chief suspects foul play was involved in disappearance

"It's heart wrenching," Emily Scaletta, Barry's half-sister, told Fox 4 in a one-on-one interview Friday. "Just hearing it officially being said as suspicious, it leaves a bad feeling in your gut."

This announcement comes after Schmalbach's boyfriend, 35-year-old Christopher Davis, was arrested and booked into the Lee County Jail on August 1 for a 2018 South Carolina warrant. Davis has not been charged with any crime related to the disappearance of Schmalbach. However, he has played a role in the case.

"Mr. Schmalbach’s boyfriend called the police department on the 22nd to say that Barry was missing," Sizemore said. "We think the initial phone call was willfully deceptive."

Sizemore went on to say the boyfriend called back to alleviate fears there was not anything suspicious. A missing persons report says Davis told detectives Barry got into an Uber or another car from the Cruisers bar on July 19 and left.

However, on Friday Sizemore said Barry was last seen around his apartment on July 19, not the bar.

"Personally I’ve never met him," Scaletta said. I know that it is on separate charges not related to Barry.

Cape Coral Police Department (CCPD) says they are searching multiple counties for Schmalbach and are dedicated to finding him.

"We want answers from anyone that’s able to give it to us," Scaletta said.

According to CCPD they have talked with family and are continuing to provide them with updates throughout the case. The family came to Cape Coral to search for Barry, and the goal, Scaletta said, is to find him.

"He’s awesome, he’s the best big brother in the world. He’s got a heart of gold and he’s so stinking smart with everything," Scaletta said. "We absolutely love him and just want to find him."

CCPD is encouraging residents to contact them if they have any information regarding the whereabouts of Schmalbach.

Scaletta and Barry's friends are inviting the community to come out and hand out flyers at Jaycee Park on Saturday, August 5 at 10 a.m.