Placement hearing scheduled for children of missing woman

Marjorie Gayle McCaffrey (provided)

By Natalie

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Her marriage may have been on the rocks, but friends and family don't believe Gayle McCaffrey would have ever left her kids and disappeared.

Now, the two children's father Robert McCaffrey is fighting to get his kids back from emergency protective custody as investigators keep looking for his wife.

According to an incident report provided by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office, Robert McCaffrey reported his wife missing by calling 911 on 5:16 pm on Sunday.

When deputies arrived, the report says McCaffrey told them he and his wife have been trying to save their marriage. He told them that the day before, after going out for a meal, the two returned home and argued.

McCaffrey then told authorities he left to "get some space and time away" and went to a home in Easley, in the upstate which is listed as the address on his driver's license, according to the report.

"He didn't go to the actual house which was on the driver's license but we know he was up in that area," Major Jim Brady said.

According to Travelers Rest Police, McCaffrey received a speeding ticket on State Park Road in Travelers Rest at 2:30 a.m. Police Chief Lance Crowe says McCaffrey traveled south bound on Highway 25 towards Greenville.

McCaffrey told a 911 operator when he returned to the home at 6:30 A.M. his wife was gone and she had left behind her wedding ring, car keys and check book. Investigators say they also found a typed note in the home but would not release its contents.

According to McCaffrey's attorney Christopher Lizzi, investigators spoke to McCaffrey for five hours. During that time, his children were taken into emergency protective custody. Lizzi says he will fight to get the children back. A hearing is scheduled in family court on Thursday.

Sheriff's authorities say they plan to argue the children should remain in protective custody while they continue their investigation into McCaffrey's disappearance.

Wednesday morning, after responding to a report that buzzards were circling an area in the couple's West Ashley neighborhood, search teams found the buzzards were attracted by a dead dog.

Despite that discovery, investigators kept searching in nearby ponds to cover all bases. Authorities say nothing was recovered. Major Jim Brady says they have not expanded their search outside of Charleston County and that Gayle's husband Robert is no longer cooperating.

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