Coast Guard to suspend search for missing family near Cedar Key

united states coast guard 

News Release  

Feb. 14, 2017
U.S. Coast Guard 7th District PA Detachment Tampa Bay
Contact: Coast Guard PA Detachment Tampa Bay
Office: (727) 535-1437 ext. 2143
After Hours: (305) 965-4672

Coast Guard to suspend search for 3 missing near Cedar Key

Coast Guard crews aboard an HC-130 Hercules airplane and a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Clearwater, Florida, taxi the runway Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017 in preparation to search for three people who were aboard a missing aircraft seven miles south of Cedar Key, Florida. Coast Guard crews began searching Feb. 12, 2017 after the plane failed to arrive in Cedar Key en route from Brooksville, Florida. U.S. Coast Guard video by Petty Officer 1st Class Michael De Nyse

Editors' Note: Click on image to download high resolution video.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— The Coast Guard is scheduled to suspend their search Tuesday at sunset for a missing Brooksville family near Cedar Key.

Jasper Jerrels, 65, his fiancé Hue Singletary, and Jerrels' 17-year-old son were aboard a single-engine plane en route from Brooksville to Cedar Key Sunday when they went missing.

As of noon Tuesday, the Coast Guard and partner agencies conducted more than 30 searches, covering more than 2,016 square nautical miles and more than 50 hours for the missing individuals.

"It is with a heavy heart and our deepest condolences that we make the decision to suspend the search this evening," said Capt. Holly Najarian, Sector St. Petersburg commander.  "We keep the family and friends of these three individuals in our thoughts and prayers as they go through this difficult time." 

At 5:21 p.m. Sunday, watch standers from Sector St. Petersburg received a report from the Flight Service Station Gainesville, stating a white with red and blue stripes, single-engine aircraft failed to arrive in Cedar Key by noon.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter air crew from Air Station Clearwater and a 27-foot Special Purpose Craft-Shallow Water boat crew from Station Yankeetown launched and commenced the search, and watch standers at Sector St. Petersburg issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast.

At 9:06 a.m. Monday, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission marine unit located an aircraft seat matching the description of the interior of the missing plane, and search and rescue crews located a small debris field. 

At 8:51 a.m. Tuesday, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter air crew located a deceased individual approximately six miles southwest of Cedar Key in the vicinity of the debris field. A 29-foot Response Boat-Small II boat crew from Station Yankeetown recovered and transferred the remains to local authorities for identification. 

Crews from Air Station Clearwater, Station Yankeetown, Sector St. Petersburg, the Coast Guard Cutter Seahawk, Citrus County, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Levy County Fire and Rescue, and Cedar Key Fire and Rescue, alongside commercial salvage companies and multiple good Samaritans aided in the search.

"We want to thank all of our local and state partners for providing professional support throughout our search efforts," said Najarian