Paradise resident Robert Nemecek has a lot of stories to tell. The 88-year-old husband and father has worked in property and estate recovery for more than 50 years, where he has traced missing persons and found unknown heirs to valuable properties throughout the nation. Nemecek has just self-published his first book, Mr. Locator, which details six of the most interesting cases he’s handled in his career. The WWII veteran also has been a pilot since 1947 and is chalking up a second book at the request of his daughter, who’s a professor at the University of Denver and wants to hear more about his experiences with aviation.
How did you become interested in this line of work?
I’ve been tracing missing persons for 50 years—since 1949. I’ve had probably 250-260 cases that I’ve handled successfully, and I’ve never had one that I’ve gone after that I haven’t located the unknown heirs of properties. I’ve never had one fail.
How does all that work?
Well, the cities and various governmental agencies put out a list of unclaimed properties and publish them in the paper from time to time. If they don’t find the owners of the property within a time limit they close the estate and deposit the unclaimed properties in various treasuries. People who have abandoned their property or never went to claim it, I went after them. I became very well known later in life and I had various judges who were aware of my ability to find people, and they referred lawyers to me and public administrators and whatnot to me.
What made you decide to write a book?
I wrote this book on the question of a friend of mine who was an author. He said that I had a good story here, so why didn’t I write it down so other people could use it? And when I took his advice, it became a book called Mr. Locator.
How did you single out the six cases detailed in your book?
I had several people who were cloak-and-dagger people and what I tried to do is pick six various stories that would be of interest to the reading public.
What’s the story behind the name “Mr. Locator?”
“Mr. Locator” was given to me by a lady who was looking for the owner of a vacant lot in ’53. I found the owner of the vacant lot for her, and she mentioned that I was a “regular Mr. Locator.” The name stuck.