Boat found in connection with hit-and-run that killed Florida teen: authorities

Ella Adler, 15, was killed while wakeboarding in the Miami area, FWC said.

Authorities in Florida said they have found a boat believed to be linked to a hit-and-run accident that killed a teenager while wakeboarding in the Miami area over the weekend.

Ella Adler, 15, was struck by a boat while wakeboarding near Nixon Beach in Key Biscayne on Saturday afternoon, Officer George Reynaud, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, told ABC News.

The teenager fell into the water about a mile from shore while being towed and was waiting to be rescued from her boat when another vessel fatally struck her, Reynaud said. The boat that struck the teen did not stop, FWC said.

After a day-long search, FWC said Tuesday that there is a boat in its custody that matches the description of the striking vessel given by witnesses. The boat owner is cooperating with the investigation, FWC said.

FWC has requested additional resources and “worked around the clock” to find the vessel, FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto said Tuesday.

“As a father and grandfather, my heart breaks for the Adler family,” Barreto said in a statement. “Ella’s death is devastating for her family, friends and the community at large. The FWC and our law enforcement partners will not stop until we have all the answers and the case is solved.”

The investigations are still ongoing. FWC encouraged anyone with information or footage to contact them.

The vessel wanted in connection with the incident was described as a center console boat with a light blue hull, possibly blue or dark blue bottom paint and multiple white outboard motors, FWC said. It was believed to be 30 to 40 feet long, Reynaud.

A reward of up to $20,000 is being offered for information in the investigation: FWC and Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers are both offering up to $5,000, while Adler’s family is offering a $10,000 reward, Reynaud said.

“The world lost a star this weekend. “Ella was beautiful and shone brightly. In her 15 years, she gave us more light than we could have ever imagined,” her parents, Amanda and Matt Adler, said in a statement to ABC News. “As we come to terms with this unspeakable tragedy, we hope the public will help us find the person who took her away from us.”

Ella Adler was a student at Ransom Everglades School, a college preparatory day school in the Miami area. The school described her as an “outstanding student, wonderful dancer and active member of the Jewish Student Association and speech and debate team.”

“Our hearts are broken and our community has been devastated by this tragedy,” the school said in a statement. “Ella shone in our classrooms and on our stages, and she embodied the mission of Ransom Everglades School.”

Adler was a ballerina who performed in more than 100 performances with the Miami City Ballet, according to her obituary, which described her as a “star” and “force of nature.”