Officials: 7 Cuban migrant deaths off Florida Keys linked to Hurricane Ian

Florida Keys (Totajla, Getty Images)

MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – The deaths of seven Cuban migrants, whose bodies have been found in or around the Florida Keys over the past week, are linked to Hurricane Ian, Local 10 News confirmed with the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s office Wednesday evening.

The news comes as officials announced that they recovered the bodies of two more suspected Cuban migrants, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

The two bodies, both described as females, were found on or near Boca Chica Key on Monday and Tuesday, the sheriff’s office said.

The bodies of six females and one male have been recovered since Thursday. Officials haven’t specified whether they were adults or children.

While officials have not attributed the discoveries to a specific incident, 17 Cuban migrants were reported missing after their boat sunk in the Straits of Florida as Ian loomed off the coast last Wednesday.

The medical examiner’s office said it is in the process of filing paperwork to officially make the seven migrants part of Florida’s Hurricane Ian death toll, which numbered at 105 as of Wednesday evening.

About the Authors:

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.