Officials: Boat involved in death of Miami teen killed while water skiing located

Water skiing

MIAMI — Investigators in Florida on Tuesday said they located a boat that fits the description of a vessel that fatally struck a 15-year-old teenager who was water skiing over the weekend.

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Ella Riley Adler, 15, was a freshman at Ransom Everglades High School in Miami, the Miami Herald reported. She was water skiing near Key Biscayne’s Nixon Beach, near Miami, on Saturday at about 4:30 p.m. EDT when she fell into the water while being towed. She was then struck by a boat that sped away from the scene.

“The boat is in our custody and the owner is cooperating. We would like to thank the public for its help and support, George Renaud, a spokesperson for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, told reporters. “The FWC called in resources from around the state and we have worked around the clock. Our hearts and prayers are with the family of Ella Adler at this difficult time.”

Investigators said it was unclear if the driver of the boat knew that they had hit Adler, WFOR-TV reported.

The vessel, according to the FWC, is a center console boat with a light blue hull, multiple white outboard engines and may have blue or dark blue bottom paint, according to the Herald.

Aerial footage showed a boat believed to be involved in the incident docked behind a house in the Hammock Oaks neighborhood of southwest Miami-Dade County, WTVJ reported.

Officials said an eyewitness helped them find the vessel, according to the television station. The identity of the boat’s owner has not been released, and it was unclear if the owner was driving the vessel during Saturday’s incident.

According to her obituary, Adler was a member of the dance team at her high school and had performed in a school play as a dancer several weeks ago.

A funeral service was held Monday at Temple Beth Shalom in Miami for Adler, WTVJ reported. She was the great-granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor and granddaughter to a U.S. ambassador to Belgium, according to WSVN-TV.

On Tuesday, the Adler family issued a statement through their attorney, Etan Mark.

“The world lost a star this weekend. Ella was beautiful and shined brightly,” the statement read. “In her 15 years she gave us more light than we could have ever dreamed. While we cope with this unspeakable tragedy, we ask the public to give us our privacy as we mourn.”

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