Coast Guard suspends search for missing family

Family last heard from last Sunday


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The search for a missing Sarasota family that disappeared one week ago has been called off.

Ace Kimberly, 45, and his three children, Rebecca,  17, Donald, 15, and Roger, 13, were last heard from last Sunday afternoon after departing Sarasota en route to Fort Myers.

The Coast Guard and other agencies conducted more than 100 searches covering 33,830 square miles for more than 250 hours in search for the missing family.

"I made the very difficult decision to suspend the active search operations for the Kimberly family," said Capt. Gregory Case, Sector St. Petersburg commander. "It is with a heavy heart and sincere condolences to the family and friends that I do this. This is probably the most difficult decision I ever have to make in this position."

On Wednesday, crews located a debris field 37 miles west of Sanibel. The debris field contained items such as water jugs, tarps, six life jackets, a throwable life ring, a propane tank, a pair of shoes and a basketball.

Also on Wednesday, crews located a green sit-in kayak in the vicinity of the original debris field matching the description of a kayak known to be with the family. All the debris was attributed to the missing sailboat.

On Thursday, a Jayhawk crew and a 45-foot response boat crew witnessed a white flare while conducting the search.

Also during the week, a yellow kayak matching the description of a kayak known to be owned by the family was found. A bucket containing the Kimberly's birth certificates, a GPS, a wallet, two cellphones, cigarettes, a tool box and a pool noodle were also located.

Two bodies were located during the week-long search and have been transferred to local authorities for identification.

Crews from the Coast Guard Cutter Alligator, Station Fort Myers Beach, Station Cortez, Air Station Clearwater, Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Air Force, Customs and Border Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Iona-McGregor Fire Department, Boca Grande Fire Department and Cape Coral Fire and Rescue aided in the search.