Two missing boaters found dead near Legoland after 48-hour search, sheriff says
The bodies of two missing boaters were found in Lake Eloise after two days of searching, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a press conference on Monday.
Around 4 p.m. on Saturday, the 10-year old daughter of one of the boaters called Polk County deputies to report that the boat she was on had floated away from her father, Jeffrey Marrero, his friend, Orlando Ortiz, and Ortiz’s girlfriend, Velcky Velasquez.
Judd said Marrero and Ortiz jumped off the boat in an attempt to assist Velasquez who was in the water trying to secure the anchor in the middle of the lake. The boat, a 16-foot Tahoe ski boat, had been rented by Ortiz and his girlfriend, according to the sheriff.
PCSO deputies rescued Velasquez who was found floating on her back in the water, as well as a 10-year-old daughter of Marrero and her 8-year-old sister, who were found on the boat.
Almost two days later, the bodies of Marrero and Ortiz were located about 300 to 400 yards offshore at the bottom of the lake, Judd said.
Seminole County deputies, PCSO Marine Unit and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission helped search Lake Eloise.
Judd said investigators believe the two men were average swimmers, who tried to swim after the boat but drowned in the process.
“We’ve been searching for almost 48 hours with the help of the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and some special equipment they have along with our equipment,” he said. ”I’m pleased that we found these folks and I’m very sorry that we couldn’t find them alive, but we didn’t anticipate that we would.”
This is an ongoing investigation.