Crews find body of missing jet skier along shoreline of Alafia River

3-year-old child spotted alone on island
Posted at 9:43 PM, Oct 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-02 06:23:05-04

UPDATE | Crews with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office say they have recovered the body of William Morris along the shoreline of the Alafia River. 

Morris' body was about a half mile from Island 75. 


Authorities received a call just before 6 p.m. saying the 38-year-old father took his son jet skiing in the Alafia River, but they never returned home.

Morris' wife called his phone using the app FaceTime. But it was their 3-year-old son, August, who picked up frightened and in tears. 

Tina Morris panicked when August told her his father was missing. She rushed to a neighbors house to call 9-1-1 while keeping her son on the phone. 

ABC Action News spoke with Tina Morris just minutes before authorities announced they had found her husband's body. 

"I tried to figure out what could happen because I know my husband would probably never leave my son by himself," said Tina Morris. "It's not like him, he loves him too much."  

According to deputies, someone spotted the toddler by himself on Island 75 and that person stayed with the child until help arrived. Island 75 is located west of I-75 and more than 1,000 feet from AJ's on the River Bar.

Deputies say they found Morris' jet ski on the southern part of the island along with his life jacket and wallet.

Tina Morris believes her son was left stranded on the island for more than one hour. 

"He was crying really bad. I couldn't really understand what he was saying," said Tina Morris. 

Morris' body has been sent to a medical examiner and an investigation into his cause of death is ongoing.