Sheriff: Body of missing father found in Alafia River

The body of William Morris was found in the Alafia River a day after he disappeared.

The body of a 38-year-old man, who went missing while jet skiing with his son, was recovered Tuesday from the Alafia River in Riverview.



Deputies said William George Morris, 38, of Riverview took his 3-year-old son for a ride on the jet-powered watercraft on Monday. When Morris' wife called his cell phone, however, the son answered the phone.

The boy was found on a small island on the Alafia just west of Interstate 75. A citizen saw the boy and stayed with him until deputies arrived. The island was frequented by the family according to the sheriff's office.  

The body was found about 11:30 a.m. on the south side of the shoreline, east of U.S. Highway 41 in Gibsonton. The search was aided by a low tide and the area where the body was found was sandy with little amounts of brush.

Col. Chad Chronister said it was impressive that the boy was able to answer the Facetime from his mother.




Deputies found an adult-sized life jacket and Morris' wallet were found with the craft.

The sheriff's office wants to thanks the assistance in the search private residents and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.


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