Remains of missing Moss Landing child found by dive team
MOSS LANDING, Calif. (KION-TV) -- The 7-year-old who went missing in Moss Landing is confirmed to have died after an extensive search by multiple agencies concluded on Saturday morning.
The Monterey County Sheriff's Office confirmed this information after California Recovery Divers, a non-profit dive team, was assisting with the search and found the remains of a child 10 feet below the surface of the harbor on Saturday.
The sheriff's office says it was through the forensics process they were able to positively identify the recovered child to be that of the missing 7-year-old.
Edgar Espinoza was at the beach with his mother Florencia Ramirez, 27, and three-year-old brother. His mother, Florencia, was found in the water unresponsive in the area of Jetty Road and Moss Landing Harbor at 8 p.m. and later died.
The family said the boy they were informed Saturday that the boy was found unresponsive and was rushed to the hospital.
The sheriff's office issued a statement offering their condolences to the family and friends of the child.
Mother identified, multiple agencies searching for missing 7-year-old in Moss Landing
Multiple agencies are searching the Moss Landing area for a missing seven-year-old after he and his mother were reported missing Wednesday night.
The Monterey County Sheriff's Office later confirmed that the mother died after being unresponsive in the water and being taken to Natividad Medical Center at around 8 p.m. Family identified the mother as Florencia Ramirez, 27, of Salinas.
Deputies said they received a request for assistance from California State Parks and North Monterey County Fire Department in the area of Jetty Road and Moss Landing Harbor around 8 p.m. on Wednesday.
The U.S. Coast Guard says a three-year-old boy reported his mother and his brother missing to a good samaritan near Moss Landing around 7 p.m. Wednesday night. The three-year-old said that his mother and brother “went swimming," according to family.
What led up to that report is still unknown to the sheriff's office at this time. The family identified the seven-year-old boy as Edgar Espinoza.
Florencia's mother told KION she received a call from her daughter that she was at the beach with her two kids, and nothing seemed unusual. She later received news that her daughter had been found unresponsive at the beach and later died at the hospital.
Crews searched Wednesday night before calling off the search because it was too dark. Search operations continued again around 8:30 a.m. Thursday.
The seven-year-old hasn't been found at this time. Deputies say their search efforts are being narrowed to the lagoon and shoreline.
Investigators say the operation is being called a "search" and not a "recovery" for now. However, as of 5:00 p.m., the U.S. Coast Guard suspended their search Thursday for the missing seven-year-old after finding no signs of him.
Deputies say this case is particularly difficult because their only witness is a three-year-old boy.
Pending any further developments the Coast Guard will end their search after 11.5 hours of cumulative work.
The sheriff's office says they are continuing their search as of Friday morning.
"Due to very low visibility in the water, they are ardently continuing by using line search techniques to make every effort to locate the child," said Monterey County Undersheriff Keith Boyd. "The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office and the personnel of the Coroner Unit offers its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Ms. Ramirez-Urbano."
Florencia's family has started a GoFundMe for funeral costs. You can find the link and donate here.
"We are asking for any donation, no matter how small, to help transfer Florencia’s body to her country of birth, Oaxaca, Mexico," the gofundme page states. "Our local communities and Florencia’s family have been greatly affected by the recent floods and resources are scarce. Any donation will be greatly appreciated."