POLK COUNTY, Texas – A search is said to be going on all day for two men who appeared to have drowned in Lake Eloise in Polk County.
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, on Saturday at 4:12 p.m., police received a call from the 10-year-old daughter of Jeffrey Marrero. She called to report she and her 8-year-old sister were alone on a boat on Lake Eloise in Winter Haven.
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The boat was rented by Marrero’s friends, 38-year-old Velcky Velasquez and her boyfriend, 32-year-old Orlando Ortiz to celebrate their one-year anniversary.
Officials say Central District deputies Glenda Eichholtz and Jonathan Munoz heard the 911 call via the Live 911 system and went to the Lake Summit boat ramp as there is no public access to Lake Eloise.
When they arrived, they saw a man who was just putting his boat into the water and asked for his help getting from Lake Summit to Lake Eloise through a canal.
The deputies and man Good Samaritan reportedly found the boat with the two girls in it. Deputy Munoz got onto that boat and drove them to the nearby dock where they found Velasquez treading water a distance away.
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Velasquez told officials she jumped in the water with the anchor to secure it to the boat, but wind and heavy chop to the water caused the vessel to float away. She says the two men jumped into the water to save her but aren’t strong swimmers, so they ended up going underwater.
The PCSO Marine Unit and FWC say they will be searching the lake 24/7 until both men are found along with Seminole County deputies. The lake will be closed to the public until they are found.
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