Authorities’ Body Hunt Turns Up Unexpected Corpse

( – Officials from local, state, and federal agencies recently launched a search for a missing diver off Florida’s southeastern coast about 130 miles north of Miami. So far, authorities haven’t found Virgil Price’s body, but they did recover an unexpected corpse.

On May 14, the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office (SLCSO) posted a press release on its Facebook page detailing the grisly find. The statement advised that SLCSO’s Marine Unit and US Coast Guard officials recovered the body of a deceased white male near the Fort Pierce Inlet. The statement said the deceased man appeared to be over 50 and weighed approximately 200 to 225 pounds.

The press release confirmed the remains didn’t match Price’s physical condition or the clothing he was last seen wearing. The US Coast Guard’s (USCG’s) Southeastern Division previously posted a statement advising that the diver was only 39 years old. An earlier report described Price’s clothing, which included a green wetsuit, an orange-striped hood, black carbon fiber diving fins, and yellow weights strapped to a waist belt.

The SLCSO confirmed that they hadn’t received a missing person report matching the description of the recovered remains. The USCG is leading the investigation and is working with the local medical examiner’s office to determine the cause and approximate time of death. Officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are assisting investigators.

On May 12, the SLCSO posted a statement detailing Price’s disappearance. The notice said he was free diving near the wreckage of a WWII-era shipwreck lying in about 65 feet of water 13 miles southeast of Fort Pierce Inlet. However, he failed to resurface, triggering a multi-agency search. The Florida Department of Fish and Wildlife initially led those efforts.

Lt. Cmdr. John Beal announced the USCG’s decision to suspend its participation in the ongoing search for Price, pending new information at 10:31 p.m. local time on May 13. He confirmed that Guard officials spent roughly 36 hours searching more than 1,415 square miles.

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