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“Vessel of interest” seized in boat hit-and-run, death of 15-year-old girl in Florida

Florida investigators have identified and seized a “vessel of interest” possibly linked to a hit-and-run in Key Biscayne that left a 15-year-old girl dead, officials said Tuesday.

Relying on witness testimony, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission agents were able to quickly identify “a vessel that matched the description” of the boat that allegedly struck Ella Riley Adler on Saturday and failed to stop, according to a press release from the agency.

And on Tuesday, investigators said the craft was “in their custody” and “the vessel owner is cooperating with the investigation,” according to the FWC.

The agency previously described the craft in question as a center console boat with a light blue hull, possibly with blue or dark blue background paint.

The agency did not name the boat’s owner Tuesday.

Nixon Beach in Key Biscayne, Florida. WTVJ

“Our community suffered a great loss this Mother’s Day weekend,” FWC President Rodney Barreto said in a statement. “I want to thank all of our officers and those from the various law enforcement agencies who have worked and continue to work tirelessly on this investigation.”

Adler was water skiing around 4:30 p.m. Saturday near Nixon Beach in Key Biscayne when she was struck, officials said. This boat was last seen heading west from Nixon Beach.

Barreto said he was particularly saddened by the fatal accident.

“As a father and grandfather, my heart is broken for the Adler family,” he said. “Ella’s death is devastating to her family, friends and the community as a whole. The FWC and our law enforcement partners will not stop until we have all the answers and the matter will not be resolved.

A representative for the Adler family could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

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News Source : www.nbcnews.com

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