Missing surfer's wallet found, family reacts

Posted at 5:47 PM, Mar 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-20 14:52:06-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Search teams in the Dominican Republic continue to look for a West Palm Beach man missing now for 52 days.

Darryl Fornatora, 46, was last seen on the north side of the Dominican Republic, but his wallet was found just yesterday.

Darryl's wallet was found by a local diver. Inside was more than $460 cash, several credit cards and Darryl's Florida driver's license. A clue or lead that should be good news to his family, but it's how they learned about the find that has his parents concerned.

"I decided I would check Facebook and opened it up and saw the evidence that they had found his wallet," explained Darryl Fornatora's mother Nancy. "Everything was just right out there and I thought that we would get a warning or something prior to something like that happening. But we did not and it was rather shocking."

The Dominican Republic National Police Department is leading the investigation into Darryl's disappearance and sharing information with the United States Embassy. Darryl's family gets updates from the U.S. Embassy as new information comes in.

But Darryl's' father Gilbert said, "We don't know anything about the discovery of the wallet."

Darryl's parents say they don't know if the wallet was found on shore or in the water and they're questioning the timing of the find.

"It's very strange," Gilbert explained. "That after 49 days, with some visits down there and some communication between so called witnesses of Darryl's whereabouts in the last day, that all of these things seem to have occurred right after some notoriety."

Darryl's parents also question what appears to be burn marks on the some of the bills found in Darryl's wallet.

"More than anything it's ominous," Nancy said. "Because finding Darryl's wallet and not Darryl is heartbreaking. You always want to have hope, but I don't really. At this point it's been too long and with this turn of events I don't think so, but of course I want hope."

Reports coming out of the Dominican Republic state Darryl's wallet was found in the water.