Florida

Four bodies found along Keys; Coast Guard searches for missing Cuban migrants

A group of 20 or more Cuban migrants may be missing or dead after their boat reportedly capsized in waters off the Florida Keys.

Three bodies were found Saturday in waters off the Upper Keys, and they might have been migrants from Cuba coming here on a makeshift vessel. A fourth body was found on a Lower Keys beach.

On Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard was searching for more possible survivors. Three three Cuban men found alive Friday near Big Pine Key told officials their makeshift vessel possibly carrying two dozen people capsized Wednesday night.

The first three bodies were found about 23 miles offshore of Islamorada after a fisherman radioed that he spotted a man's body around 10:45 a.m. Saturday.

A raft was located, and the bodies of a man and a woman were recovered about four hours later by a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer. All three victims were in international waters.

At 6 p.m. Saturday, the body of an unidentified man was found on a remote beach on Ramrod Key, around mile marker 27 in the Lower Keys.

"Detectives say there were no obvious signs of trauma on the man’s body, which was found lying on the remote strip of beach," the Monroe County Sheriff's Office reported. "The dead man had two bottles of water and a small amount of food near him when he was found."

Deputies went to the area around 6 p.m. Friday after receiving a report of a man on the beach "waving as if to get attention." They could not locate him on Friday.

"It is unknown if the dead man was a Cuban migrant, or if there is some other explanation for him having been found on a remote strip of beach with no vehicle nearby," Sheriff's Office information officer Becky Herrin said in a Sunday statement.

Kevin Wadlow: 305-440-3206

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