Colleen Wood: What Happened to Her? Has She Been Found?

Entering an exhilarating chapter at the age of 53, Colleen Wood found herself in a new phase of life. Having recently concluded a long-term relationship, she embraced a fresh start with a job in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Surrounded by the love of her children and grandchildren, she experienced a sense of fulfillment and happiness. However, in late 2000, after embarking on a sailing tour, she lost contact with her friends and family, raising concerns. The ‘Dark Voyage’ episode on Investigation Discovery’s ‘Disappeared’ explores the events that may provide insights into the mystery of her disappearance.

Colleen Wood was on a Sailing Trip When She Disappeared

Born on December 2, 1947, Colleen Wood married early and became a mother of two. After parting ways with her husband, she relocated to Dayton, Ohio, to be near her two sons. Maintaining a strong bond with them, she regularly visited her grandchildren, expressing her affection through gifts and love. In April 1998, she informed her children about concluding an 8-year relationship and expressed her desire to embark on a new journey of self-discovery.

Colleen conveyed her desire to relocate to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to her children, and with their support, she made the move. Securing a position as an office manager at Lighthouse Point Marina, she earned praise from her boss for her friendly and helpful demeanor with customers. Her boss highlighted her exceptional ability to make friends and described her as someone more focused on enjoying life than simply pursuing financial success.

Colleen embraced her new life in Fort Lauderdale and purchased a condo, signaling her intention to settle down in the area. However, in late 1999, she came across an advertisement in the newspaper placed by a man named John Paul Sr. The ad claimed that he was a former professional racing car driver who had recently acquired a yacht and was seeking a sailing companion. Intrigued, Colleen responded to the advertisement, and their connection evolved from friendship to a romantic relationship. She introduced John Paul Sr. to her friends and children, all of whom found him to be quite charming.

In December 2000, Colleen shared with her sons that she had decided to embark on a 5-year sailing expedition with John. Alongside this revelation, she informed them of selling her condo and intending to invest the proceeds in John’s business. In a reciprocal arrangement, he extended a job offer to her as a decorator and renovator for his yacht, with a corresponding salary. Expressing immense excitement about the upcoming adventure, she conveyed her belief that it would be an exceptionally enjoyable experience for her.

On December 9, one of Colleen’s sons had a conversation with her, during which she mentioned sending presents for her grandchildren’s birthday and Christmas. She informed him about her plans to visit Key West with John and cautioned that due to the lack of cellular network coverage in the area, she might not be reachable. Three days later, on December 12, her boss from Fort Lauderdale called her, inviting her to a Christmas party scheduled for December 15, to which Colleen confirmed her attendance with John. Unfortunately, this marked the last communication from her. Concerned about the prolonged silence from his mother, her son began actively searching for her in February 2001.

Investigation in Ongoing in Collen Wood’s Missing Case

When Colleen Wood’s son spoke to John Paul Sr., he learned that the couple had a disagreement before Christmas in 2000. According to John, she left the yacht while they were at Key West and returned later to collect her belongings. He claimed not to have seen her since that incident. However, when her son inquired about her phone service, he discovered that her number had been disconnected due to a payment failure.

Colleen and John

In April 2001, Colleen’s son officially reported his mother missing to the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. As he delved into John’s background, he uncovered startling information. It was revealed that John had been implicated in a drug smuggling scheme with his son in the early 1980s. Following an attempt to kill one of his associates in Florida, John was convicted, serving a 20-year sentence for attempted first-degree murder. Notably, he had been released on parole in July 1999, just months before crossing paths with Colleen.

The police initiated an investigation into Colleen’s disappearance and discovered that her credit card had been utilized in Fort Lauderdale after December 16, which coincided with the last detected cellphone activity on her phone. Approximately $40,000 had been withdrawn from her account, mirroring the amount she received from selling her condo. Surveillance footage revealed two women making these withdrawals. When contacted by the police, the women reported that a man had provided them with the cards and the corresponding PIN, instructing them to withdraw the money and compensating them with a portion of the funds as a commission.

The police also discovered that Colleen’s card had been utilized to place advertisements in the newspaper in late December 2000. The first transaction was linked to an unidentified man seeking a sailing companion, while the second one involved a man looking for a romantic partner on his yacht. Unfortunately, the police were unable to trace the individual responsible for these purchases.

John remains elusive and has not been seen since Colleen’s disappearance, with reported sightings from various locations worldwide. While he is not officially labeled as a suspect, authorities are keen to question him regarding Colleen’s case. Unfortunately, Colleen or any clues leading to her whereabouts have not been discovered. The circumstances surrounding her disappearance raise suspicions of foul play, and the investigation is actively ongoing to uncover the truth behind this case.

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