The Latest: Jet skier found dead; 3-year-old left on island

AP News
|
Posted: Nov 01, 2016 1:43 PM

LITHIA, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on a missing Jet Skier whose 3-year-old son was found on an island in a river near Tampa (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

Authorities say they've found the body of a man who went missing during a Halloween afternoon Jet Ski trip with his 3-year-old son.

Multiple news outlets report Hillsborough County Sheriff's officials say the body of 38-year-old William "Billy" Morris was found after noon on Tuesday, in a sandy area along the south bank of the Alafia River.

The search for him began Monday afternoon when he and his son, August, didn't return home. The child's mother called her husband's cellphone and the little boy answered. He was on a small island in the river. A passerby stayed with him until deputies arrived.

Authorities say the cause of death was not immediately apparent and an autopsy was scheduled.

_______

1:24 p.m.

A woman said she's baffled by the disappearance of her 38-year-old husband, who left their home along the Alafia River on a Jet Ski with their 3-year-old son and never returned.

When Tina Morris called husband William "Billy" Morris' using a Facetime application hours later on Monday afternoon, the little boy answered. He was stranded on a small island in the river west of Interstate 75 near Tampa. The Tampa Bay Times (http://bit.ly/2ealMMv) reports that a passerby stayed with the child, who turns 4 in January, until Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies arrived.

Deputies found the Jet Ski pulled up on the island's southern bank with the father's wallet and an adult-sized life jacket. But Billy Morris was nowhere to be found.

The sheriff's office has been searching for him, with helicopters searching from above and divers looking in the water.