Body of missing, 24-year-old female swimmer recovered off Longboat Key

Venezuelan woman disappeared Saturday night offshore of South Lido Key Beach, Police Department reports

On May 22, a Sarasota Police Department Marine Patrol officer searches along South Lido Beach. Image courtesy Sarasota Police Department via Facebook

The body of a 24-year-old Hispanic woman who disappeared while swimming off South Lido Key Beach Saturday night was recovered off the shore of Longboat Key just before 9 p.m. Sunday, the Sarasota Police Department reported.

The woman, who was from Venezuela, was identified as Everliz Valentina Vega Medina, Genevieve Judge, the public information officer for the Sarasota Police Department, wrote in a news release.

Vega Medina’s family had been notified, Judge added.

A search ensued Saturday night after a friend of the woman notified law enforcement officials that Vega Medina was missing, Judge explained in an earlier alert to the news media.

Both women had been swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, Judge noted. “The friend made it safely back to shore,” Judge pointed out, “but Everliz did not.”

In earlier advisories, Judge described Everliz as being 5 feet 3 inches tall, having black hair and brown eyes and weighing approximately 120 pounds. “She was last seen wearing a black bikini,” Judge added.

Representatives of multiple law enforcement agencies, including marine and dive teams with the Sarasota Police Department, Sarasota County Emergency Services, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Coast Guard, searched nonstop after “being dispatched just after 10 p.m. Saturday,” Judge pointed out. Those searches were conducted along the shoreline, by helicopter and by boat, she noted.

At the time Judge issued the missing person alert, she wrote that Sarasota Police Department officers had no reason to believe foul play was involved.

Just after 7 p.m. on Saturday, Judge issued another advisory, saying the search had been suspended that night and would resume Sunday morning, unless Vega Medina was found in the meantime. In that notice, Judge reported that the woman’s family had given law enforcement officers permission to identify Vega Medina.

The Police Department is continuing an investigation into the incident, Judge reported just after 6:30 a.m. on May 23.

The National Weather Service office at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport noted that conditions were fair just before 7 p.m. on Saturday before becoming overcast or mostly cloudy until just before 10 p.m.

Although the humidity ranged from 77% to 82% between 6:53 p.m. and 9:53 p.m. on May 21, no rain was reported. Winds between 7 and 8 p.m. were 8 mph to 10 mph, the National Weather Service added, with a heat index ranging from 82 degrees to 93 degrees.

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