Body recovered during search for missing boater in Thonotosassa

Posted at 10:43 PM, Jul 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-20 10:48:00-04

UPDATE | Crews have recovered a body during the search for a missing boater in Thonotosassa. 

During a Thursday morning press conference, officials said the body was identified as 44-year-old Juan Luis Linares of Plantation. Officials believe he came to to the lake alone and had recently bought the boat.



ORIGINAL STORY | Divers searched Lake Thonotosassa for a reported missing boater Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.

A witness told Florida Fish and Wildlife officers he thought he saw a man's head going in and out of the water in the distance; he also thought he heard that person shouting for help. He immediately called 911.

Search crews raced to Lake Thonotosassa to search for the man. Divers from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and FWC looked for hours, but found no sign of him.

Investigators said they knew someone used the boat recently because the engine was still running and the boat was spinning in the water. They found gear on board like flip flops and a brand new go-pro camera.

"We seen all the cops so we stopped to see what was going on," Jasmine Sullivan, who uses the lake, said.
FWC said the boat was recently purchased, which made it extra difficult for them to track down information about the boater.

People, who visit the lake often, are upset someone is missing. 

"It is sad because this is a great community. (There are) a lot of people (who) come out here. They've grown up here so, you know, everyone watches out for everyone," Tricia Cuccia said.

FWC divers continued their search Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m.