Cops Find Boat That May Have Killed U.S. Ambassador’s Teen Granddaughter

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Facebook
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Facebook

Florida authorities made a potential breakthrough Tuesday in their probe of the fatal hit-and-run boating crash that killed the granddaughter of America’s ambassador to Belgium on Saturday afternoon, announcing they’d found the vessel believed to have struck the teenager.

Ella Adler, 15, fell while she was waterskiing in Biscayne Bay, a large lagoon south of Miami, and was plowed over by a stranger’s boat as she waited to be retrieved from the water, the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission said Sunday.

The vessel that struck her sped away from the scene, leaving Adler’s bloodied body floating in the water, supported only by a life jacket, the FWC said. The boat that struck her was described as having a center console, a light blue exterior, a dark blue bottom, and a length somewhere between 30 to 40 feet.

The FWC said Tuesday that the boat’s owner was cooperating with its probe, but did not say if it expected to make an arrest in the incident. The agency said an investigation is ongoing.

An unnamed witness said the boat that struck the teen did not appear to swerve or slow down when it approached Adler, NBC 6 reported.

Adler was rushed to shore and then a hospital, but passed away due to her injuries.

The teen is the granddaughter of Michael Adler, the current U.S. ambassador to Belgium. He was formerly president of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and vice chair of the Florida International University Board of Trustees. She was the oldest of two siblings, an online obituary said.

Adler’s death appeared to rock her school and temple communities, with tributes pouring in over the weekend as local educators and loved ones demanded accountability.

Adler was a budding star as a ballerina, having appeared in over 100 performances with the Miami City Ballet, and had recently taken on a role in her school’s production of Chicago.

Rachel Rodriguez, the head of Adler’s high school, Ransom Everglades, said in a statement Monday that their “community has been devastated by this tragedy.”

“Ella shined in our classrooms and on our stages,” she added.

A funeral service was held Monday for Adler at the Temple Beth Shalom in Miami Beach, where her friends and family reportedly fought back tears as they read tributes about her.

One friend, who didn’t identify herself, said Monday that Adler was a member of her school’s debate team and wished to one day run for president.

“Ella, you had so many qualities to admire,” the friend said, according to the Miami Herald. “You were passionate about your faith. You loved your family. You loved your friends. And you were loved by all. I miss you so much, and I will honor your memory by never forgetting the special things about you.”

The Herald reported that the teen’s dad, Matthew Adler, penned a letter that was read at her funeral by her aunt.

“Mommy and I have said for years that you truly got the best parts of both of us,” he reportedly said. “...You were taken from us way to soon, and the world has been robbed of all the things you could have achieved. But you will always be here with us and your friends and family will carry your energy and spirit forever.”

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