Remains of Missing Hurricane Ian Victim Discovered on Sunken Sailboat in Fort Myers Beach

James "Denny" Hurst, Missing Hurricane Ian victim found dead on sunken sailboat months after storm
James "Denny" Hurst, Missing Hurricane Ian victim found dead on sunken sailboat months after storm

Lee County Sheriff's Office/Twitter

The remains of a Florida man were found on a sunken sailboat months after Hurricane Ian struck in September.

James "Denny" Hurst's body was found on a boat, named "Good Girl," after divers discovered the sunken vessel in Matanzas Pass in Fort Myers Beach, the Lee County Sheriff's Office shared over the weekend. Hurst was the last known missing person in Lee County connected to the storm, per NBC News.

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"The remains have been positively identified as James Denny Hurst. Mr. Hurst's family has been notified. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family," Sheriff Carmine Marceno wrote on social media.

NBC affiliate WBBH-TV reported that a worker at Salty Sam's Marina noticed wreckage from a boat on Thursday and informed authorities.

"I mean, you know, we all know it's him," Hurst's daughter, Shannon Vaughan, told the outlet after the remains were initially found. "There's absolutely no doubt. Like I said, he lived on the boat."

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Hurst was last seen on last seen on the boat the day Hurricane Ian made landfall on Sept. 28, per the outlet.

"It's finally done. You know? It's just finally done," added Vaughan. "We're glad that you're finally found and you're home. I love you. I miss you. We all do."

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Days before Hurst's discovery, the body of 82-year-old Ilonka Knes, who had been missing since the hurricane, was discovered "deep within the mangroves" of Fort Myers Beach, Marceno said at a press conference last week.

After family requested a welfare check for the woman on Oct. 7, she was declared missing on Oct. 15, officials said. Her husband Robert Knes, 81, was found dead shortly after the storm slammed into the state, according to the Associated Press.

In total, 75 people from Lee County have died as a result of Hurricane Ian, per NBC News, which reported that there have been over 140 deaths statewide in connection to the storm.