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28950: Hermantin(news)Officials say five-day trip began in Haitin (fwd)




From: leonie hermantin <lhermantin@hotmail.com>



Human smuggling cited in 2nd death


Officials say five-day trip began in Haiti



By Michelle Sheldone
The Jupiter Courier

August 19, 2006



The death of a man whose body was found in the surf off Jupiter Island on Thursday is being investigated as a homicide, the second death this week attributed to alleged human smuggling.

The man, who had a broken right leg and was not wearing pants, is estimated to be between the ages of 20 and 30. Results were not yet available from a Treasure Coast Medical Examiner autopsy of the body, according to Jupiter Island Public Safety Sgt. Ted Gonzales.

A beach surveyor found the body just north of Blowing Rocks Preserve around 1:43 p.m. Thursday.

The dead man is thought to be among a reported 14 individuals smuggled to South Florida from Haiti, eight of whom are in custody at the Broward County Transitional Center.

The man's broken leg "may have happened while the body was tumbling along the beach," Gonzales said. "There didn't appear to be any bruising."

Wednesday, officials found the floating body of Roselyn Lubin, 26, identified as a Bahamian, whose death was attributed to drowning, an autopsy revealed. She was thought to have family in the Fort Lauderdale area.

Survivors told investigators they traveled in a smuggling boat's cabin for a five-day voyage that began in Haiti on Friday night and that two crew members ordered them into the water about 25 to 50 yards from shore off Jupiter Island. They each had paid $2,500 for the trip to South Florida, reports stated.

One of the detainees is being investigated for drug-related charges after at least seven kilograms of cocaine emerged at the same time officials found eight survivors soaking wet at an area park and along roadways. Four were unaccounted for Friday.

Jupiter Island Public Safety Chief Bill Mason said Friday those seeking U.S. asylum in South Florida disembark boats at a sandbar that runs parallel to the beach about 50 yards from shore and mistakenly think they can walk to the coast.

"They get out of the boat thinking they're OK," Mason said. "The ones who can't swim hit a trough and go to the bottom. It's a tragedy, an absolute tragedy. My heart goes out to them."

Michelle Sheldone can be reached at michelle.sheldone@ scripps.com.


Copyright  2006, South Florida Sun-Sentinel