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Update: Officials identify body of man who jumped off Seaway Bridge in Fort Pierce

Officials find body of man who jumped off Seaway Bridge in Fort Pierce (SLCSO)

Update: the body was identified by Fort Pierce detectives as Dontavius Atkins-Slater, 27, of Fort Pierce.


Original Story:

St. Lucie County deputies found a body fitting the description of the man who jumped into the Intracoastal Tuesday night.

The dive team was notified by the Sheriff's Office Marine Unit that they found something on the sonar about 1 p.m. Wednesday, the sheriff'f office said. The body was found in the area where the man was last seen.

Fort Pierce police responded to a report of a drowning Tuesday night around 9:30 p.m. Several witnesses reported seeing a black man wearing a black and white striped shirt, climb over the rail on the south side of the bridge and jump, according to the sheriff's office. Once in the water, witnesses said the man began screaming for help and struggled to stay afloat.

When officers arrived, they saw the man approximately 200 yards off shore near the northern most barrier island, the sheriff's office said. Two Fort Pierce police officers immediately entered the water and began swimming towards the man. As the officers reached the first island, the man disappeared, forcing the officers to return to the shore after losing sight of him. Other officers canvassed the shoreline, looking for personal items or anyone who could help identify the man.

U.S. Coast Guard crews, Fort Pierce police and the St. Lucie County Air Unit and Dive team then suspended their search for the man at 3:30 a.m. Wednesday due to dangerous water search conditions, according to Fort Pierce police.


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