Massive search for missing family in Gulf of Mexico turns up survival gear and a body

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Image: U.S. Coast Guard

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A desperate search effort in the Gulf of Mexico for a missing family has reportedly turned up one body and some personal gear as rescue teams investigate a possible flare as well.

The U.S. Coast Guard reported that rescuers located a body with a life jacket on Wednesday afternoon, according to ABC News.  Search and rescue efforts had been ongoing for the father and his three teenage children, who were missing since Sunday.

Coast Guard rescuers pulled the body of 17-year-old Rebecca Kimberly out of the water, Fox News reported.  Items believed to belong to the family like water jugs, life vests, tennis shoes and a propane tank, were found off the coast of Sanibel, Florida.

Two kayaks were also recovered and believed to belong to the family who disappeared Sunday when the boat they were living in on the western coast of Florida went missing, ABC reported.

Near the search area, rescuers spotted what could be a flare at 2:30 a.m. Thursday, according to Fox. “We still have hope they’re out there,” Coast Guard Capt. Gregory Case said Thursday, according to Fox. “We’re still searching. It’s an active search and rescue mission.”

A concerned relative had contacted authorities and the search began on Tuesday for Ace Kimberly, 45, and his children, Rebecca, 17, Donald, 15 and Roger, 13. The family had at least seven life jackets on the 29-foot sailboat that they lived on, and were towing two kayaks, Kimberly’s brother told the Coast Guard.

Headed to Fort Myers for boat repairs, the family left Sarasota at 7 a.m. Sunday, ABC reported. Kimberley called his brother about 3 p.m. and told him they were encountering six-foot seas 30 miles from Sarasota, near Englewood.

Kimberley had full custody of the children and was separated from their mother who lives in Indiana, ABC reported.

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