Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Abducted boy found safe off Sanibel Island coast (St. Petersburg, Florida)

Thank God this boy was found safe. It's a real pleasure to report good news for once.


Missing Cocoa boy found safe off Sanibel Island coast
news-press.com staff and wire reports • December 1, 2009

9:56 A.M. UPDATE — Luke Finch, 3, and his father have been found on a sailboat about 100 miles off the Sanibel coast, according to reports.

The Coast Guard will be holding a press conference at 11 a.m.

news-press.com will continue coverage of this story as information becomes available.
Here' s the official statement from the Cocoa Police Department:

The search for 3-year-old Luke Finch ended early this morning. The United States Coast Guard located the sailboat late last night and kept the boat under surveillance the entire night. By sunrise today, two Coast Guard Cutters and a helicopter converged on the sailboat and safely recovered Luke.

Right now, Luke is aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Crocodile which is expected in at the Coast Guard Station in Ft. Myers Beach at approximately 7:00 p.m. tonight. Detective Nellie Woodruff is also aboard the Cutter with Luke. Luke seems to be in good health. Investigators are transporting Luke’s mother to Ft. Myers for the reunion.

Paul Martikainen is still aboard the sailboat which is being towed to shore by the Coast Guard Cutter Kodiak Island. They will make landfall much later in the evening, at which time Martikainen will be taken in custody by the FBI on a Federal arrest warrant.

“We are extremely happy about the outcome of this. It could have gone so much worse and we are so thankful that Luke is safe. This was a group effort and would not have been possible without the help of many, many law enforcement agencies” stated Cocoa Police Chief Mark Klayman.

Cocoa PD and Luke’s family want to thank the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Game Over Task Force, FBI, ICE, United States Attorney’s Office, Middle District, Fish & Wildlife, St. Pete PD, and especially the United States Coast Guard.

From earlier reports
ST. PETERSBURG — The Coast Guard is searching by air and water for a 3-year-old Cocoa boy and his father, 35-year old Paul Martikainen.

The Coast Guard is also issuing hourly BOLO's on emergency marine radio in hopes casual boaters will serve as their eyes and ears on the water.