Missing Florida Boy Found Dead Days After Falling Into Boat Propeller: ‘An Unimaginable Nightmare’

The remains of a nine-year-old boy have been found after a family bonding experience turned tragic.

A father and his three sons (7, 9, and 12 years old) were sharing a “special time” Saturday on Lake Annie in Dundee, Florida, before it turned into an unforgettable nightmare. During a Monday news conference, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd explained:

“They were on a pontoon boat on this lake when the nine-year-old fell off the front of the boat. He was hit by the propeller.”

He added:

“As soon as that occurred, obviously the father stopped. He immediately dove into the water in an effort to recover his son. His other son was dialing 911 for help.”

Unfortunately the poor father was unable to save his son — or even to find a body.

The sheriff, who referred to the incident as “a tragedy of monumental proportions,” explained units arrived in three minutes, and a “deputy who lives on the lake” provided his boat to aid in the search. Eventually Polk County Fire Rescue, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office all arrived at the scene. He added that the young boy’s shirt was found “wrapped around the propeller.” Apparently, he was not wearing a personal floatation device during the incident as he was not required to by law, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO).

At the time of the Monday conference, the child had still not been located, with Judd noting: 

“There aren’t enough words to explain the angst of even the law enforcement officers, who are doing everything they can to find that little fellow so that we can recover him for the family.”

He lamented that despite searching “nonstop since Saturday afternoon” they hadn’t yet found him — but that they’d “stay there until” they did. Finally, in a Tuesday tweet, the PCSO announced:

“The body of the 9 year old boy has been recovered, and the family has been notified.”

See (below):

The PCSO’s Marine Unit, Underwater Search and Recovery Team (USART), Aviation Unit, and Drone Units all also played a role in the discovery. See more (below):

 

Judd called the incident a “tragedy, and an unimaginable nightmare for the family of the boy.” What else can be said?

We’re just glad they can now at the very least have a proper funeral for their late loved one. Rest in peace to a young boy gone far too soon.

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