Search for Missing Fla. Diver Suspended as Officials Suspect 'Marine Predator' Encounter

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Timothy Obi
Timothy Obi

GoFundMe

The search for a "loving" husband and father who went missing over the weekend while spearfishing in Florida has been suspended after his damaged gear was found in the water. 

Timothy Obi's gear was found 250 yards from his diving location on Tuesday, three days after he was reported missing off the water of Jacksonville, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a press release

"This afternoon I have made the determination based on new information to suspend the search for Mr. Timothy Obi," Capt. Mark Vlaun, Commander of the Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville, said in a statement. "The Coast Guard and our partners extend our deepest condolences to the Obi family, who remain our thoughts and prayers during this exceptionally difficult time."

Obi's gear appeared to be damaged, and considering the condition and location where they were found, the Coast Guard believes the father of three may have had a "suspected encounter with a marine predator."

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A GoFundMe campaign has been started to raise funds for Obi's family, which includes his wife, Lizzy, and their three young sons, Davis, Kyle and Brooks.

"Timmy Obi was a loving husband," a description on the donation page said of the 37-year-old. "He had a passion for surfing, fishing, and diving. He was loved by so many and will be missed very much."

"Funds raised will be used to support the family's immediate needs and for a college fund for his three boys," it continued.

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The campaign has raised more than $244,000 as of Wednesday afternoon.

WJXT reported Brie Isom posted a video to Twitter showing hundreds of his supporters sharing a prayer along the shore on Tuesday.

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"He is a great guy. He's a reliable guy — someone you can count on to be a friend and always be there," Holden Harris, a friend of Obi's told WJXT. "It's a strong piece of solace that he passed doing what he absolutely wanted to do."

Friend Christopher Borger added: "For something like this to happen, it just really hurts... For this to happen, it's truly a tragedy. My thoughts, prayers, and sympathies are going out to his family."