FWC working to identify body discovered near Egmont Key

The body of a deceased white male that appears to be in his 60s found Sunday morning in the area of Egmont Key could be a Cortez boater who has been missing since Nov. 17, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Egmont Key is the same area where Cortez resident Fraser Horne, 64, went missing on his boat on Nov. 17.

The FWC had not yet positively identified the body by Sunday night, said James Boogaerts, an FWC spokesman.

“FWC is searching for a missing boater from Nov. 17 in the area that the body was found,” Boogaerts said in a news release. “Authorities are working diligently to identify the body of the deceased male and will be notifying next of kin as soon as a positive identification has been made.”

FWC received a call from the United States Coast Guard at approximately 7:30 a.m. Sunday that the body was found by a good Samaritan, Boogaerts said.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office aided FWC in the pick up and investigation of the body, according to an HCSO official.

The U.S. Coast Guard had suspended the search for Horne on Nov. 19.

Horne was reported missing around 6:15 p.m. Nov. 17 by his wife, Michele Horne, who told officials her husband left from Egmont Key on his boat but did not return on time.

Horne’s 30-foot boat, “Golden Rush,” was found nearly five miles northwest of Bradenton, according to a tweet from the Coast Guard. Fraser’s dog, Toula, who was with him, was found alive on Nov. 17.

The boat was in neutral, but the engine lights were left on. A wallet, keys and shoes were found by a Coast Guard rescue swimmer.

Crews from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Holmes Beach Police Department, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission assisted in the original search.

Search crews completed 32 search patterns of about 2,192 square miles over two days, according to a Coast Guard press release.

Fraser is from Alberta, Canada, but he has a winter residence in Cortez.

Richard Dymond: 941-745-7072, @RichardDymond