Robert spoke to his wife on the phone, the evening of July 27, 2013. They confirmed his plan to pick her up at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City two days later. The next morning, he went out in his wife’s Volkswagen Golf for bagels, then stopped at a Mobil station on Church Hill Road (U.S. Route 6 and Connecticut Route 34) near Interstate 84 to get gas. Security cameras inside recorded him paying for the fuel and also buying a map of the eastern United States at 6:45 a.m. But, someone saw him after that.
Upon Robert’s return home, he and his 24 year-old son has breakfast. His son, Max, later said that his father paid some bills and played Scrabble online for a while. Around 10 or 11 a.m., Robert went out to mow the lawn. While he was doing so, Max went out in the Golf, telling his father he expected to be back a few hours later. A neighbor also told police he saw the two talking in the yard.
The next day, Robert was not at the airport when his wife Lori arrived around 4 p.m. She tried calling both their home and his cell phone, but got no answer at either. She assumed that he was in traffic on his way there and his phone’s battery was dead. Lori stays with a relative nearby, and calls Robert’s boss.
Robert Hoagland’s boss mentioned that Robert had not shown up for week that morning. Lori made it home on July 30th and found her husband’s phone, keys, passport and prescription blood pressure medications; but no Robert. The lawn mower was in its place, as well as his shoes. His Mini Cooper was still parked in the driveway. Her Volkswagen, however, was not.
Lori presumed her vehicle was with Robert, where ever he was. That was until Lori heard from police in Bridgeport. They had arrested Max the night before, near the same building where his father had gone a few days before to confront the men Max had told him took their laptops, a location known to the police for drug sales and prostitution. Since the area is clearly posted, he was charged with third-degree criminal trespass, a misdemeanor. Max had no idea where his father could have been. He has never been found.