Venice Police and Fire responded to a plane crashing into the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday morning.
According to the Venice Police Department, a reported overdue aircraft was found in the Gulf of Mexico after crashing nearly 2.5 miles west of the Venice Pier.
What was left of a rented Piper Cherokee was found at around 2 p.m., by air assets close to a third of a mile west offshore.
The plane was found directly west of Venice Municipal Airport.
The investigation began at 10 a.m. after the Federal Aviation Administration asked VPD to check with the Venice Airport regarding a plane that didn’t return Saturday night.
The plane took off from St. Petersburg but never made it back to Venice.
Around the same time as the investigation began, people on a boat spotted a dead woman floating in the Gulf 2.5 miles west of Venice Beach.
Divers from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office found a dead juvenile within the plane’s passenger area.
It’s believed a male pilot or passenger was also in the plane during the flight; however, he has not yet been located.
This is an active search and investigation for all departments working on the scene.
Officials aren’t releasing the names of those who died in the crash until they have properly notified the families.
Also, officials need to get clearance from other agencies involved, including the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.
Search and crash scene assistance is ongoing from the Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Sarasota Police Department, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the District 12 Medical Examiner’s Office.
The search for the missing male will continue until sunset and resume as conditions allow.