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Body found positively identified as that of missing woman

Lauren Lamar, 26, found floating in water at Matheson Hammock Park

MIAMI – The body of a woman found floating in the water near Matheson Hammock Park on Tuesday morning has been positively identified as that of Lauren Lamar, Miami-Dade police said.

Miami-Dade police Detective Daniel Ferrin said the discovery was made by the U.S. Coast Guard while continuing its search for Lamar, who was last seen Sunday night.

Lamar, 26, was reported missing by two friends after the boat on which they were traveling returned from Stiltsville, a cluster of homes on pilings in Biscayne Bay, to Matheson Hammock Park about 10 p.m. Sunday.

Lamar's body was found floating face-down in the water.

Police questioned the other two occupants who were on the boat, Russell Bruce, 45, and Alicia Bartolota, 28, who claimed they thought Lamar was sleeping below deck.

"I don't know if I've ever heard of someone falling off the boat, especially when there's only three people on board, and the two people that are left on board not realize that that happened," Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officer Jorge Pino said Monday.

Bruce and Bartlota have since been released.

Local 10 News reporter Hatzel Vela went to the southwest Miami-Dade County home that property records show belongs to Bruce, but nobody answered the intercom, even though minutes earlier Vela saw someone drive through the gate.

Lamar had recently moved from Jacksonville to Miami,  where she worked as a promotional and sales representative for World Crawl Miami.

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