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5-year-old boy found dead

By Mark Young, Islander Reporter

Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale talks to lifeguards April 22 awaiting the arrival of the District 12 medical examiner to provide an official cause of death for a 5-year-old boy who drowned April 20 after swimming in the dangerous waters of Longboat Pass. Islander Reporter: Mark Young

The weekend search for a young boy that went missing April 20 after wandering away from a family gathering and taking a jump into the dangerous waters of Longboat Pass at Coquina Beach has ended.

Lomontea Taylor, 5, was found dead April 22.

Taylor is believed to have been caught in a rip current after jumping from a wood jetty into the water, according to Sgt. James Gill of the Bradenton Beach Police Department, the lead agency on the case.

Taylor went missing at 6:30 p.m.

Two U.S. Coast Guard vessels from Station Cortez and a Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Clearwater took part in the April 20 search until shortly after 9 p.m. Also involved in the search, were the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, West Manatee Fire Rescue, Longboat Key Police, Manatee County EMS and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The search in the Gulf of Mexico and the Intracoastal Waterway resumed April 21 in an area from Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach to Whitney Beach on north Longboat Key.

At daybreak April 21, according to Coast Guard spokesperson Petty Officer Michael De Nyse, the Coast Guard was “working closely with the sheriff’s office, which was performing shore patrols.”

De Nyse said in a statement, “We are doing everything in our power to reunite this child with his family.”

The search lasted until after dark April 21 with one witness estimating as many as 80 boats and personal watercraft and many people walking the coastline were on the lookout for Taylor.

The search-and-rescue operation turned into a recovery effort by late Sunday, as authorities presumed the 5-year-old was dead.

As of The Islander press time April 22, Bradenton Beach Police reported the boy’s body had been found, but no further information was available.

Swimming in the waters of Longboat Pass is discouraged due to strong rip currents and warning signs are posted in the area.

4 Responses to 5-year-old boy found dead

  1. Tim Johnson says:

    There are signs saying “Don’t Go Into the water” all over the beach by the pass, and along the pass itself.The parents are negligent for not watching their children. There are also signs along the wooden pier warning to stay off, and I see people on them all the time when I visit! Where is the enforcement?
    So now a precious child has to die as a result! For shame.

  2. Sam Plyler says:

    Something needs to be done at Longboat Pass. It is a shame Taylor lost his life to soon. When I lived in Bradenton we spent a lot of time there and adults would take there children out in the Pass. The Life Guards and Sheriffs Boats would chase them out and when they were gone they were back in the water. Stiff fines for first time offences in these cases need to be handed out. Signs are posted all along the pass to warn people.

  3. Patrick says:

    I hate new laws to fix things like this. What is a fine going to do unless we sit there and wait to fine people? The issue is people who go in when nobody tells them to stay away. Instead of fines, how about we let them know how serious this is, before they go in?

    What we need is a sign updated each time with body counts. It’s crass, it’s obnoxious but maybe it will work. Every time someone dies, their picture goes up on the board. Those signs need to be put every 50 foot along the edge of that pass. The top of the sign needs to say, “We are not kidding – you will die!”

  4. Robert Bodell says:

    Even with the signs posted there, I can not believe a parent would leave a 5 year old alone at the beach, much less let them play on the rocks. I don’t even let my dog play in the water un-watched. What could they possibly have been doing that was more important than watching that kid. It would be mighty unusual that they were the only people there. what were they doing? common sense tells me that if a 5 year old is playing on the jetty unattended, I need to stop what I am doing and get him to his parents.

    When I was about 7 I snuck away from home after a storm and was playing in the huge surf. Some guy stopped his car on gulf drive and came down on the beach and beat my butt with a belt. I didn’t do that again. I probably got more spankings from neighbors than my mother.

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