Boat that fatally struck a 15-year-old girl in Florida has been found, officials say

MIAMI (AP) — Investigators believe they’ve found the boat that fatally struck a 15-year-old girl off a South Florida beach, officials said Tuesday.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation and other law enforcement agencies had been searching for the vessel since Saturday, when Ella Adler was killed and the boat operator fled without stopping.

“The boat is in our custody, and the owner is cooperating,” FWC officer George Reynaud said in a video on Facebook.

Officials didn’t immediately say where the boat was found or how it was located. It also wasn’t clear whether the owner of the boat was the person who was operating it when the girl was hit.

Adler was water-skiing near Key Biscayne, just south of Miami, on Saturday afternoon when she fell into the water and was hit by another boat, which immediately sped away, officials said. Witnesses described the hit-and-run craft as a center console boat with a light blue hull, multiple white outboard engines and blue bottom paint.

A funeral service for Adler was held Monday morning at Temple Beth Sholom in Miami Beach. Adler was a freshman at Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove and a ballerina with the Miami City Ballet.

A total reward of up to $20,000 was being offered for information that leads to an arrest.