Almost 100 days after Major Hurricane Ian hit Florida’s southwest coast, authorities continue to find human remains believed to belong to storm victims.
In a statement, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said they were working to identify the remains as those of a missing boater. Recently, authorities positively identified the remains as those of an 82-year-old resident who rode out the storm in Fort Myers Beach.
With sustained winds of 150 mph, Hurricane Ian made landfall at Cayo Costa, southwestern Florida, on September 28, 2022. Some residents of Fort Myers were caught off guard by the significant storm surge because of its size and unpredictability.
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno released new information regarding the recovery of the area at a news conference on Thursday. “Most of us have gotten back to a sense of the new normal. For some, still missing their loved ones, every day since the storm has been difficult,” the sheriff stated.
The elderly man’s remains are not the only ones that have been recovered as authorities search the area after the storm.
A report was made that Omar Millet and Betsy Morales have disappeared since Hurricane Ian hit Florida. In the aftermath of the storm, the sheriff’s office attempted to check on Ilonka and Robert Knes’ well-being.
Robert Knes’ body was found shortly after Ian struck, but his wife didn’t appear in the days and weeks that followed.
A debris removal crew found Ilonka’s remains in dense patches of mangroves in mid-January, after which dental records proved it was Ilonka’s.
Betsy Morales and Omar Millet were last seen adrift in rough waters off the Keys on their 32-foot boat.
It was reported that the man was on the boat during the monstrous storm. He was one of hundreds reported missing in the aftermath, many of whom have since been found safe.