Sunday, March 7, 2010

Douglas Schantz Missing: Douglas Schantz Sequent Energy Management Exec Missing in New Orleans

Douglas Schantz, president of Schantz Sequent Energy Management is reported missing in New Orleans. Surveillance video from the bar where Mr. Schantz was last seen shows him leaving the bar alone just after 2. a.m. Foul play is suspected. Updates as available. Update 3-9-10 below. Update 3-9-2010 4:00 EST: Douglas Schantz's body was pulled from the Mississippi River today. Read more below.


Douglas Schantz

Douglas Schantz (54), of Houston, Texas has not been seen since Friday morning when he did not arrive at the airport for his flight home. He was last seen in a Bourbon Street bar by his colleagues. Those with him said he was standing at the bar between 1 a.m. and  2 a.m. and then just disappeared. Security cameras show him leaving alone shortly after 2 a.m.

Mark Homestead, Sequent's VP of trading and marketing said "if we are out to dinner it is not unusual for us to leave at separate times," but said his boss always stays in touch, carries a BlackBerry, and returns a call within 10 minutes, 24/7. Lori Shantz, his wife, reported her husband missing when he did not arrive with his flight at the Houston airport.
The other men eventually returned to the hotel, and, in the morning, boarded flights back to Houston, where they had a noon staff meeting.
“We just assumed that he came back to the hotel,” Homestead said, adding that it is also not unusual for co-workers to take different flights home.
They began to suspect that something was wrong when Schantz didn't return for the meeting. Their worries escalated when Schantz's wife called to say he had not come home. 
Schantz was in the city to present a donation to Tulane University's energy graduate program, where he is a member of the executive advisory board of the Entergy-Tulane Energy Institute at Tulane. Students from Tulane joined Schantz Sequent executives, who returned to New Orleans on Saturday to join a search for him.
Schantz is described as white, about 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds, with a medium build, blue eyes and short, straight, dirty-blonde hair. He was last seen wearing a navy blazer, a white shirt and a tie.
Sequent Energy Management announced Saturday that it would match the $5,000 reward offered by the local office of Crime Stoppers. Anyone with information is asked to call 911, the New Orleans Police Department at 504-821-2222, Detective Gwen Guggenheim at 504-658-5300, or Crime Stoppers at 504-822-1111.  
Schantz Sequent Energy Management is reported to be a "major gas and oil company." Mr. Shantz had not used his hotel room key since Thursday afternoon. His bank accounts are untouched and his cell phone had not been used.

Update 3-9-10 @ 12:47 EST:
Mr. Schantz left from the Razzoo Bar & Patio in the French Quarter. The reward is up to $25,000.00. Tim Miller with Equusearch is using sonar and reporting that the Mississippi River is being searched this minute. Tim Miller says he is in recovery mode, while the family is still in the rescue mode.

4:00 EST:
Source: ABC New Orleans
A body found in the Mississippi River has been identified by New Orleans police as missing oil executive Douglas Schantz.

A Texas-based nonprofit group that had been searching Schantz, 54, found the body earlier today.
Tim Miller, president and founder of Texas Equusearch, said the body was found Tuesday in the Mississippi River, "very, very near" the spot where Schantz, president of Houston-based Sequent Energy Management, was last spotted on a security video Friday morning.

Searching through videos from businesses in the French Quarter, police were able to place Schantz at the dock for the Riverboat Natchez at about 2:40 a.m. on Friday.

Police Superintendent Warren Riley said Tuesday that Schantz, who left the Razzoo Bar and Patio about 2 a.m. Friday, was seen walking on a 2-foot walkway by the river.
"We're not certain, but it appears Mr. Schantz may have fallen into the river," Police Superintendent Warren Riley said.

Riley says the man, who had been drinking, seemed disoriented on the videos. He is seen going into a restricted area and is not seen again on the video, despite a review of the following four hours of tape, Riley said.

It does not seem that Schantz was the victim of foul play, which had earlier been suspected, Riley said.
"At no point in that 36 minutes was he ever approached or accompanied by any individual," Riley said.

















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