Search suspended for child, suspected smuggler off Florida

Authorities believe passengers who were being smuggled were lost when their boat capsized on its way to Florida

A U.S. Coast Guard cutter sits off the coast as it prepares to repatriate Haitians picked up off the coast of Miami. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

MIAMI (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard has stopped searching for a 9-year-old Haitian child and a suspected migrant smuggler in the waters off Florida.

Authorities say the child and the Bahamian national were among 11 people aboard an 18-foot (5.5-meter) boat that capsized Sunday during an apparent migrant smuggling venture. A good Samaritan found nine people in the water roughly 45 miles (70 kilometers) east of the Palm Beach County coast, about halfway between Freeport in the Bahamas and Jupiter, Florida.

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The search was suspended Wednesday evening after 69 hours. Coast Guard crews searched over 4,100 square miles (10,600 square kilometers) by air and by sea.

Capt. Aldante Vinciguerra said the search was a reminder of the “reckless regard” smuggling networks have for the migrants they are transporting.