About two days after they went missing following an accident on a lake in central Florida near the Legoland theme park, authorities claim to have found the bodies of two boaters on Monday afternoon. According to a Polk County Sheriff’s Office press release, the remains of Orlando Ortiz, 30, of Winter Haven, and Jeffrey Marrero, 34, of Auburndale, were discovered in Lake Eloise about 150 yards (meters) apart.
At a prior press conference, sheriff Grady Judd claimed that the two men had dove into Winter Haven Lake to help a third member of their group, a woman, who was in trouble in the water. The men became separated from the boat and were last heard from on Saturday night.
Sheriff’s deputies were called after a 10-year-old child on the boat dialed 911 on a telephone, alerting them to the third person, Velcky Velazques, 38. Both that toddler and an 8-year-old girl stayed in the drifting boat and were successfully saved by deputies in a fishing boat, according to Judd.
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With gusts gusting to 20 mph (32 kph) and some whitecaps on Saturday, the lake near Legoland in Winter Haven was choppy, according to Judd. He continued by saying that the inexperience of the boaters, who had rented the boat for a trip that day, added to the weather problems. Marrero was the two girls’ father, while Ortiz was Velazques’ boyfriend.
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Around 50 miles (80 km) east of Tampa sits Winter Haven. In a statement released on Saturday, Legoland stated that the incident “is not related to us in any way.” It stated that authorities utilized a boardwalk at the hotel as a command post. During this trying time, “our thoughts and prayers are with the family,” it said.
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