Tragedy struck for young Mason Hart during a recent trip to Abaco when the 24-year-old Houston, Texas, resident was found floating naked and dead in waters near Scotland Cay on July 29.
Devastated family and friends believe he may be the victim of foul play and are determined to find out what happened to him. Investigations are continuing as Police are treating the matter as a suspicious death.
Initial police reports said that a resident of Scotland Cay discovered the body of an unknown Caucasian male in waters shortly before 5pm on July 29.
Friend of the family, David Tucker, identified Mr. Hart’s body. After recently graduating from Texas Tech University Mr. Hart was invited to work on Mr. Tucker’s sports fishing boat, ‘The Tucker Tales.’
“…Our sweet Mason set sail on a grand adventure. He was sailing the seas, truly living life to the fullest with David Tucker. David has been Mason’s ‘second father’ for the majority of his life. Mason and David’s son, Austin have grown up together, like brothers,” said the family on a website created in Mr. Hart’s memory.
The family reported that Mr. Hart took a dingy to Marsh Harbour for lunch and cocktails at Snappa’s Restaurant on Tuesday, July 28, where his last credit card transaction was at 3pm. He then went to Guana Cay to Nippers Restaurant, where his final transaction there was around 7:30 pm, the website says.
“We know now that after a visit to a third restaurant, Mason was seen getting into the boat with someone else,” the family’s website says.
He did not return home that evening, and the following day Mr. Hart’s naked body was found near Scotland Cay. His personal belongings – clothing, phone, wallet, etc – and the boat, have not been found.
The family believes that finding the boat could provide important information for the investigation, and a $5,000 reward has been offered for any information leading to its recovery.
The family has hired a private investigator to conduct an independent investigation to find answers as to how Mr. Hart died.
The frustrated relatives are also seeking help from the US Embassy in Nassau. Relatives are upset about how Mr. Tucker was allegedly treated by local Bahamian guards at the US Embassy in Nassau. They claimed that Mr. Tucker went to the embassy on Sunday with Mr. Hart’s passport and power of attorney to handle his affairs.
“He was greeted by local Bahamian armed guards who attempted to turn him away to return on Tuesday, after the long Bahamian Emancipation Day holiday weekend. It was only after using strong assertiveness with Bahamian security … did we get the Bahamian security guard to call inside the embassy to request a US Embassy official come to the door and talk with us. Cliff Chamble, a US citizen travelling with David Tucker was denied access to our US embassy. This is outrageous,” the family said.
“Details are still coming together while we try to better understand this tragedy,” a Go Fund Me page raising funds for his funeral says. “We are asking for your help to fund the effort to bring Mason’s body home, back to the States and support his family during this tragic time.”
Mr. Hart was described as driven, passionate, sweet, and loved by many.
“When Mason spoke, people wanted to listen. His laughter was contagious. He could cheer up any sad soul and was always the life of the party,” the family said.