December 17, 1988. Miami, Florida. Lisa Bishop, a 23-year old journalism student from Georgia State University, leaves on a trip to Haiti on a boat called the Freedon, which is being captained by a German national named Florian Meyer Bourch. When they do not arrive at their destination and Lisa does not contact her family, a search from the Coast Guard fails to find the missing boat. Months later, an eyewitness reports having seen the Freedon in Grand Cayman weeks after it originally went missing and residents of the island also recall having seen Florian during that time period. This leads to speculation that the Freedon may have been involved in an illegal smuggling operation, but no trace of Lisa, Florian, or the boat and its crew are ever found.
April 11, 1990. Richmond Hill, Georgia. 32-year old Nathan Neesmith, his 23-year old brother Billy Joe Neesmith, their 18-year old nephew Keith Wilkes, and a 23-year old friend named Franklin Brantley leave for a fishing expedition in the Atlantic Ocean on a boat named the Casie Nicole. The following morning, the four men are forced to abandon the boat when it starts sinking and Nathan becomes separated from the group. After four days drifting on his own, Nathan is finally rescued, but the other three men are never found. Months later, a series of bizarre phone calls leads Nathan and his family to believe that Billy Joe, Keith and Franklin may have been picked up by a freighter Nathan had seen and are being held against their will, but they do not receive any conclusive answers.
On this week’s episode of the “Trail Went Cold”, we explore the separate stories of the Freedon and the Casie Nicole, two boats which became the centre of unique unsolved mysteries.
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“The Trail Went Cold” is now doing a weekly livestream show on GetVokl every Thursday from 7:00-8:00 PM ET as part of their “True Crime Thursday” line-up. For more information, please visit their website.
The Trail Went Cold is produced and edited by Magill Foote.
All music is composed by Vince Nitro.