A 6-year-old boy is believed to have drowned in the Gulf of Mexico during a family vacation to Florida, police said.
The body of little Enrique Cortez-Dubon was discovered Tuesday afternoon in sand on the shores of Panama City Beach, the local police department said.
“This was nobody’s fault. This was a tragic accident,” Chief J.R. Talamantez told reporters Tuesday evening.
The boy had been last seen Monday morning, standing in knee-deep water near the Shores of Panama, a beachfront hotel where his family was staying while visiting from Atlanta, Georgia.
“Police were told the child did not swim well and was not wearing floaties,” cops said in a statement.
Authorities launched a massive search, with up to 80 first responders scouring the area using drones and helicopters and sending divers into the water, the Panama City News Herald reported.
Police said Enrique was found after someone reported seeing a body in the water, roughly 1.5 miles from where he was reported missing.
The Panama City Police chief urged parents to speak to their children about water safety in the aftermath of the tragedy.
“Enrique was a small child,” Talamantez said. “There were hundreds of people around him, and it can happen that quickly.”
With Post wires