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News Release

Monday, April 16, 2012

Media Relations

Missing Person NR12175kr

Los Angeles:  The Los Angeles Police Department is asking for the public’s help for information regarding the disappearance of Robert Louis Piatt.

On December 29, 2011, around 1:30 p.m., Piatt, a 66-year-old businessman from the West Los Angeles, called his girlfriend from the Malibu beach area as he was preparing to go out kayaking alone.

Just a short time later, around 3:00 p.m., Los Angeles County emergency response personnel received a 911 cell phone call from Piatt indicating that he was in the water and having chest pains.  His location was determined to be approximately 1.5 miles off the Malibu Pier.  When emergency response personnel arrived, a capsized kayak with a life vest attached to the cockpit of the kayak was found, but there was no sign of Piatt.

A witness on shore saw a 30 foot to 40 foot motorboat leave the area at a “high rate of speed” and disappear into a fog bank off shore just as a search and rescue helicopter had arrived to begin searching the water for Piatt.  The motorboat was described as having a dark colored hull, white superstructure, with a ‘fly bridge-type enclosure” astern of the vessel.  The rear stern view of the vessel appeared to be “very wide”.   A photograph of the boat resembling the one seen is attached to this release.

Piatt is male White, balding, with brown eyes, 5 feet 9inches tall, and weighs approximately 170 pounds.  A photograph of Piatt is attached to page two of this release.

Investigators would like to speak with the crew members of the boat seen in the area in hopes that they may be able to provide additional information regarding Piatt’s disappearance.

If you have seen, or have any information regarding the whereabouts of Piatt you are asked to contact the Los Angeles Police Department, Missing Persons Unit, Detective Carmine Sasso at 213-996-1800. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.