Woman discovers multiple relatives in Bahamas found dead

People in South Florida still trying to locate relatives

By Jeff Weinsier - Investigative Reporter, Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

MIRAMAR, Fla. - A South Florida woman received the devastating news Thursday that some of her family members in the Bahamas had been found dead.

"Of 11 family members that I learned this morning were missing, five of them have been found dead already up on the eastern end of the island. It's an unbelievable tragedy," Julie Edwards said. 

Edwards, who owns the Conch Krawl restaurant in Miramar, said she received a WhatsApp message from a cousin in the Bahamas informing her of the news.

"We are talking about first cousins, second cousins," Edwards said. "It knocked the wind out of you. You don't know how you will make it through the day. It is so unreal. Unreal to think that could have happened."

Edwards was told her cousins tried to escape from their home on Mclean's Town Cay when it filled with water.

"I understand they got into their boat because they thought the boat was safer, but the boat capsized. They just perished," Edwards said. 

Late Thursday afternoon, Edwards got another message out of the Bahamas.

A friend said her sister-in-law died during the storm and her nephew is missing and presumed dead in High Rock.

Edwards doesn't believe her family members are among the official count of those killed.

"It is nerve-racking to be here," she said. "It is hard to work because you can't concentrate."

Edwards said she also found out a former employee's entire family is missing in Abaco.

In Sunrise, another person with family in the Bahamas, Joe Pratt, continues to wait to hear word about his six missing relatives in Marsh Harbour.

"My nephew, my brother, my other brother and his wife. It's hard," Pratt said.  

Pratt said his brother, Dennis, was always in touch. 

"I can't get in touch with my brother, Dennis Bain, my brother, Mario Pratt, my nephew, Tom, Jasmine Monroe," Pratt said. "I have been calling every day. I can get no call. There is nothing else I can do but pray."

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