Gayle McCaffrey's husband charged with obstruction in homicide investigation

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- A missing woman's husband was arrested Saturday and charged with obstruction in the case of her disappearance and death.

According to Charleston County deputies, Bob McCaffrey was arrested Saturday afternoon. They said the arrest came after investigators found discrepancies in the story he told deputies and what they found in their search.

Officials said Bob McCaffrey was arrested around 3:15 p.m. at the Mount Pleasant Bi-Lo shopping center but had not been booked immediately into the Charleston County Detention Center. Instead investigators were using the opportunity to question him for the first time in years.

Gayle McCaffrey's sister says her family celebrated Bob McCaffrey's arrest Saturday night with a special dinner. It was the news they have been waiting for since Gayle McCaffrey's disappearance.

She says it's been a long time coming.

"We were excited, nervous. It's nice for something to finally be happening and for an arrest to be made," said Helen Banach, Gayle McCaffrey's sister.

Banach says her family is ready to move forward after two long years of waiting. Her younger sister Gayle vanished in March 2012. Now with her sister's husband in police custody, she's hopeful detectives can move forward in finding Gayle.

"You don't even comprehend what the waiting is like. You know, it's one thing if someone is murdered and you find out what happened. But the waiting has been really hard on everyone," Banach said.

"During the course of this investigation, detectives determined that Robert McCaffrey was not truthful in his initial report to responding deputies and detectives and that he knowingly impeded and provided misleading information, which hindered the Charleston County Sheriff's Office in locating his missing wife," an affidavit released Saturday reads.

The affidavit states the details Bob McCaffrey said about his wife's location in the home would not have been possible. Further, the safe mentioned in a letter he claimed was written by his missing wife likely never existed, the affidavit states.

According to an incident report, the letter said Gayle McCaffrey found a safe with $110,000 and a gun, adding she would use it if Bob McCaffrey tried to find her.

The letter also said she was having an affair. The letter closed saying she would miss her children.

He told investigators that his wife had found the combination to the alleged safe on his cellphone, but a search of his phone showed no contact or information about a safe, he affidavit continued.

The incident report also says Bob McCaffrey was hysterically crying when he was questioned about his wife's disappearance and appeared nervous.

"Robert began to walk back and forth and hold both hands to his forehead and look up to the ceiling," the report reads. While the first officer gathered more information, Bob McCaffrey "smirked and cried at the same time."

Earlier this month, deputies picked up another search in West Ashley for clues of the missing woman near her West Ashley home. Deputies have often focused their searches there.

Bob McCaffrey has long been a person of interest in his wife's disappearance.

Officials have been trying to interview Bob McCaffrey for more than a year in the case, but said each time his attorney has prevented any interaction with investigators.

Banach said she and her older sister have tried to talk to Bob McCaffrey since Gayle's disappearance, but he has avoided them.

Now that he's behind bars, she thinks he can start talking to investigators.

"That's always been our main goal is to find her and bring her home and bury her because she doesn't deserve to be laying somewhere," she said.

He reported his wife missing March 18, 2012. He reportedly told deputies that he last saw his wife around 10 p.m. on Saint Patrick's Day. He said he left the residence to travel to Easley, S.C. Gayle has not been seen or heard from since.

Bob McCaffrey told investigators shortly after his wife disappeared that when he returned home, he found his wife's wedding ring, checkbook and a typed letter on a countertop.

Gayle McCaffrey's children, ages 4 and 10 at the time of her disappearance, were taken into protective custody. They have since been put in the care of her sister.

For more than two years, Banach says she kept a light in the window of her Berkeley County home until her sister is found. She looks forward to turning off that light soon.

"We are cautiously optimistic that he will finally tell them where her body is and then we can go get her," Banach said.

Charleston County deputies said a bond hearing would be held at 10 a.m. Sunday. Banach said she and several other family members plan to be in bond court Sunday morning to see what a judge says about the case.

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