Deputies plan new hunts for woman

New searches are planned for the coming week by deputies looking for a missing West Ashley woman.

There are still some leads to follow up on in the search for Gayle McCaffrey, Charleston County sheriff’s Capt. Eric Watson said Friday. Although he would not specify the areas to be searched, he said they are local.

“It’s going to be somewhere in Charleston County,” he said of the future searches.

McCaffrey, 36, was last reported seen the night of March 17 by her husband, Bob McCaffrey, at the Limestone Drive home they shared with their two children. The children have since been placed in the custody of their aunt, Debbie Pearson, who is Gayle McCaffrey’s sister.

A Wells Fargo bank account has been established to help Debbie and Jimmy Pearson meet expenses — from food, to dental and medical bills, to summer camps — that arise from raising two additional children. The McCaffrey children are ages 10 and 4.

Bob McCaffrey saw his children this week during the first supervised visit with them since the state Department of Social Services took them away.

Watson said investigators need to ask Bob McCaffrey more questions but said McCaffrey’s attorney is preventing any new contact between investigators and his client.

“The husband has not been cooperative, and he has an attorney who has advised us not to make contact with his client,” Watson said.

Bob McCaffrey told investigators March 18 that he left the home the night before after arguing with his wife and drove to Travelers Rest in the Upstate. Investigators know he went to Travelers Rest, because he received a speeding ticket while there. He told investigators that when he returned home that Sunday morning, the children were asleep and his wife was gone.

The wife’s purse and other personal belongings were still in the home, and her car remained in the driveway. A typewritten farewell note, purportedly from Gayle McCaffrey, is being examined by the State Law Enforcement Division.

Bob McCaffrey’s attorney, Chris Lizzi, said Friday his client has been cooperative but confirmed he’s advised him not to give statements to investigators, “as any attorney would.”

Lizzi said McCaffrey already has given investigators a “lengthy videotaped statement.”

Watson said investigators would like McCaffrey’s help in establishing a more accurate events timeline. “He’s the last person who actually saw his wife. We have some questions only he can answer,” he added.

Pearson and another sister, Helen Banach, last week established the bank account where donations to benefit Gayle and Bob McCaffrey’s children can be sent.

Donations can be sent or deposited to the “Gayle McCaffrey Children’s Fund” at Wells Fargo.

Reach Edward C. Fennell at 937-5560.

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