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Search for missing diver off Florida coast takes surprising turn when authorities find another body

5/14: CBS Morning News

8:36 p.m.

Search teams scour Florida coast for diver who disappeared this weekend found a male body Monday, but authorities said it wasn’t the one they were looking for.

“His clothing and physical characteristics do not match those of the diver who went missing on Sunday,” the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Authorities said they did not yet know the identity of the man they pulled from the water. The sheriff said there was no missing person description in the county matching the body, which weighed between 200 and 225 pounds and appeared to be older than 50 years old.

It did not appear the body had been in the water for an extended period of time, authorities said, and medical examiners were working to determine the cause and approximate time of death.

Virgil Price, the Florida free diver who went missing Sunday, was 39 years old and was last seen wearing a green wetsuit, the sheriff’s office said. Price was snorkeling near the Halsey, a World War II wreck, when he failed to resurface.

Authorities search for missing Florida diver
The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office helped recover an unknown body from the water during the search for a missing diver.

St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office

Located approximately 130° north of Miami, the sunken ship reached its final resting place on May 6, 1942, while en route from Corpus Christi, Texas, to New York. Hit by a torpedo, the vessel came to rest on a sandy bottom in 65 feet of water, according to Fishing Status.

The U.S. Coast Guard said on social media that it suspended the search for Price after traveling 1,415 miles and searching for 36 hours. “The decision to suspend an active search is never taken lightly. We extend our deepest condolences to Mr. Price’s family,” said Lt. Cmdr. John Beal.

Authorities are continuing both investigations.

—Aliza Chazan contributed reporting.


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