Sandy Hook: The case of the missing realtor Robert Hoagland

Robt Hoagland

Add this to the many mysteries surrounding Sandy Hook.

50-year-old Robert Hoagland was a self-employed real estate appraiser in Newtown, Connecticut — the town where, on Dec. 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, 20, allegedly massacred 20 first grade children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Hoagland also worked for an attorney in Bridgeport.

Seven months after the school massacre, Hoagland disappeared, leaving a wife, 52, a culinary teacher at Newtown High School, and three sons, ages 26, 24, and 22.

On a mild summer day on July 28, 2013, a Sunday, Robert Hoagland had started his day early by driving into town before 7 a.m. to pick up bagels and put gas in his Volkswagen Golf. He was wearing a white t-shirt, khaki shorts and his signature loafers. A surveillance camera at Bagel Delight on Church Hill Road and at the Mobil station captured his smiling face.

Robt Hoagland1

Then Hoagland returned to his home on Glen Road in Sandy Hook to have breakfast with his son Max, 24. His wife, Lori, was returning to the United States from a trip to Turkey.

At about 10 a.m., after sending a few text messages and playing online Scrabble for a while, Hoagland went outside to mow his lawn. When he stopped the mower to say goodbye to Max, who was going out for a few hours, the moment of silence marked the last time anyone in his family would see the 50-year-old father of three.

After cutting the grass, Hoagland put the mower away, slipped his loafers off and threw his clothes in the laundry, which were later found by his family. Everything in the Hoagland home was in its right place; there were no signs of disturbance.

That night, Lori reported her husband was missing.

While police began their search, Lori and her sons sat together and tried to figure out a reason why Hoagland would take off. Lori said there had been some “troublesome things” in the family, “but not enough for him to just disappear. I think every idea that we had was investigated. We exhausted everything that we could possibly imagine had happened.”

In September 2013, Lori and a group of her friends conducted a search of wooded areas lying within in a three-mile radius of the Hoaglands’ Glen Road property. The search involved areas including Riverside Road in Sandy Hook and River Road in Southbury.

Hoagland’s brother had also hired a private investigator to look for the missing realtor.

Since Hoagland’s disappearance, the Newtown Police Department had received a flurry of tips in the interim — a hiker who looked like Hoagland in Rhode Island (turned out to be a case of mistaken identity), a man matching his description in Brookfield — but the trail had gone cold. “He could literally be anywhere,” said Lt. Richard Robinson. “Given six months’ time he could be anywhere in the world.”

When he vanished, Hoagland left behind his car, cell phone, passport, wallet, loafers — the only shoes he ever wore — and his blood pressure medication.

Hoagland’s 28-year-old son Chris said, “It’s just odd a man with bare feet would just up and leave.”

Meanwhile, Hoagland’s wife and their three sons are left with neither the grief of mourners nor the anger of an abandoned family — only confusion, despair and hope that one day Hoagland will come home.

“Obviously, after six months there aren’t many leads anymore,” Lori said. “We continue to be strong in our conviction that he would never just run away, but there’s no proof either way.”

At this point, the family hopes the case can pick up national media attention so their father’s face appears in newspapers and on television screens wherever he may be. They have also launched Facebook and Twitter accounts titled “Help Us Find Hoagie” to help spread their story.

Hoagland is described as white, 6 feet tall, about 175 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. He has a distinguishable scar over his left eyebrow. He was last seen in a white T-shirt and khaki shorts. A Facebook page, Help Us Find Hoagy, has additional information.

If you have seen Hoagland, call Detective Jason L. Frank at the Newtown Police Department at (203) 270-4229.

Sources: Newstimes; Newtown Bee; CBS Los Angeles.

See also “The strange purchase date and price of Sandy Hook homes,” Feb. 14, 2014. For the links to all the posts FOTM has done on Sandy Hook, go to our “Sandy Hook Massacre” page!

~Eowyn

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josephbc69
Guest

It sounds as if he had a mental-emotional aberration, and may have ended in a hospital somewhere. But why wouldn’t the hospital call police? Then again, as an appraiser, he may have simply known too much….

pnordman
Guest

God bless this family! I cannot imagine the mental and emotional pain they are going through….Thanks so very, very much for this post, Dr. Eowyn. Another reason to check into FOTM, to get the real news!

flyingtigercomics
Guest

Reblogged this on Flying Tiger Comics and commented:
The Hoagland disappearance feels hinky. His job at a law firm, his profession as a valuer- in a town where a significant number of real properties were subject to anomalous paper transfers… This is a thread worth pulling on.

Gingercake
Guest
Gingercake

Is Hoagland related to the strange real estate purchases in Newtown?

Seumas
Guest
Seumas

I’m also curious just what his wife was doing in Turkey, of all places, that’s one heck of a trip. Anyway if he did indeed have bare feet, then odds are he wouldn’t be going very far initially, especially if any areas had gravel or bare rocky ground… the fact he left his blood pressure pills behind seems to indicate he believed he wouldn’t be out for very long, and finally, given the previous bare feet scenario, if his feet were indeed bare, then one could presume that he had climbed into a vehicle… I hope the police checked for… Read more »

DCG
Editor

So many odd circumstances surrounding this event…

william2
Guest
william2

‘Trip to Turkey’ is not really odd since Turkish Airlines had just added multiple low-cost flights from many US cities to Turkey (as well as Europe, making European trips routed through Turkey very inexpensive). My family of six and a few friends of mine visited Turkey or had layovers there because of their extremely low airfares from major US cities in 2012 and 2013.

japoa
Guest
japoa

He saw something he wasn’t supposed to see . Or to put it another way ; he had a starring role in a remake of a Hitchcock classic ” The Man Who Knew Too Much? “………He may not be dead , but I’d bet his family will never see him again . The ultimate case of A.W.O.L.

joandarc
Guest
joandarc

Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this noteworthy post. I will pray for him and his family. They must be absolutely terrified. There is something “rotten in Denmark”.

Mags
Guest
Mags

Something doesn’t make sense. If he was supposed to pick his wife up at the airport the night before, but hadn’t shown up, wouldn’t she have called one of the sons (since Max apparently lived with them) to ask, “Where’s your dad? He was supposed to pick me up.” If they were texting back and forth, did he give an answer as to why he couldn’t/didn’t come pick her up? So somehow she gets home from the airport and the next day Hoagie’s out mowing the lawn and goes out for bagels and disappears. The following day, the son goes… Read more »

Dan Hennen (@dmhennen)
Guest

The only witness to Sandy Hook shooters “escaping on ATV’s” came from Robert Hoagland. It was only mentioned once on Facebook. It was never confirmed, but if he “accidentally” saw something he could have been bumped off. It still doesn’t explain the strange response from the family.

Steven Stafford
Guest
Steven Stafford

I am so sorry especially how other people are passing judgement on the Hoagland family I hope he is ok and wish the best for the whole family

fatsolio
Guest

Guessing he knew more than he should of about this hoax and he got silenced. Sad.