JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Ten years ago, Kenny Bell was attracted to the Trout River because of its beauty and its wildlife. In October, Hurricane Mathew spoiled his view and left behind an eyesore.
"During the storm it showed up in the middle of the river," he said.
What showed up was a very large houseboat that is now grounded in his backyard
"Now I'm the owner I guess, but I don't want to be the owner," said Bell, "I want it gone."
It is a houseboat that looks beat up by time and the seas. It is ugly and it blocks the view.
"I can deal with it, but my wife is having a hard time when she comes home and sees it every day," he said.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has opened an investigation into ownership of the houseboat, but finding the rightful owner has been a deep sea dive. The Florida registration number on the vessel turned up nothing
"I had got to the point where I was going to put a sign out front advertising a free houseboat come get it," he said.
Fish and Wildlife enforces Florida's laws on abandoned vessels. investigators have determined if the boat washing up is the result of a noncriminal infraction or a case if illegal dumping, which makes it a third-degree felony.
Bell filed a complaint with FWC and finds the process very slow.
"That was in October," he said, "now we're going into December."
Soon it will be two months since Hurricane Matthew brushed the First Coast and left its mark.
"I just want it out of here I don't care what happen to it I just want it out."
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