NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- A Port Orange businessman charged last month with fraud went or a swim Sunday night in the choppy waters near the South Jetty, but when he didn't return home, an exhaustive search by air sea got under way, but he has not turned up dead or alive since then, the Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard said it was contacted around 9:30 p.m. Sunday by concerned family members after Timothy Akins, 60, did not come home after telling them he was going swimming in the area of the South Inlet Jetty, that straddles Ponce Inlet from the north and the area of Flagler Avenue to the south, an area that is popular for surfers because of the swirling surf caused by the extension into the water of the man-made jetty. It's also a popular sport sharks that often mistake the limbs of surfers and swimmers alike for bairt fish, resulting in bites that often require a few stitches, but nothing lethal.
Akins was last seen wearing a yellow shirt and riding a blue and silver mountain bike, the Coast Guard said it was told by family members.
Deployed in what has so far been deascribed as a "search and rescue" as opposed to a "search and recovery" is a 24-foot rescue boat crew from the Coast Guard Station at Ponce de Leon, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Clearwater and rescue crews from Volusia County Sheriff's Office.
Akins, 60, made headlines last month when he and Deborah Entrekin, 61, were each arrested on warrants charging them with organized scheme to defraud greater than $50,000, according to the warrant affidavits. At least 16 victims of the pair's Kitchen, Bath and Beyond, LLC, have been identified, many of them 65 or older, Port Orange cops have said.
Police began investigating the business, at 1652 Taylor Road, back in January of 2010, having discovered based on complaints, that Akins and Entrekin allegedly sought and secured large cash deposits for the remodeling of a kitchen or bathroom and either didn't complete the job or hadn't started it at all.
The pair, who gave victims a variety of reasons as to why the work couldn't be done, collected more than $200,000 from customers and at least $68,000 from several subcontractors/vendors, Kilpatrick said.
Anyone with information on Akins' location is asked to cal the U.S. Coast Guard at 904-714-7561.