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First Lady Jill Biden offered condolences to family of Ella Adler, teen killed by boat

First Lady Jill Biden offered condolences to family of Ella Adler, teen who was struck, killed by boat
First Lady Jill Biden offered condolences to family of Ella Adler, teen who was struck, killed by boat 02:12

MIAMI - First Lady Jill Biden stopped by in person on Tuesday to offer her condolences and be with the family of 15-year-old Ella Adler, who was fatally struck by a boat while water skiing in Biscayne Bay on May 11. 

"We are honored that the First Lady paid a shiva call to our family during this time of immense pain. We are touched by their support and love and we are proud to call the President and First Lady our friends for over 40 years," according to a statement from the family.

The owner of the boat seized in connection to the teenager's death, who was also operating the vessel during the incident, was identified on Wednesday and was cooperating with the authorities. 

Ella Adler was the granddaughter of a US ambassador  

Boat seized in investigation into death of Ella Adler. CBS News Miami

Ella, the granddaughter of US Ambassador to Belgium Michael M. Adler, was water skiing with friends Saturday near the Nixon Beach sandbar when she fell in the water while being towed and was struck by another boat. The operator of that boat never stopped.

An all out search was then launched to find the boat and driver. On Tuesday, Florida Fish and Wildlife believed they had found it. 

"I am pleased to report that we have a vessel in custody that matches the description given by witnesses," said FWC's George Reynaud. "The boat is in our custody and the owner is cooperating with us."

The boat was discovered behind a home in the Hammocks Oaks neighborhood in Coral Gables. Neighbors described the man who lives in the home as a family man and an experienced boater. They said he was devastated by what happened. 

On Monday morning, hundreds of people attended services for Adler at Temple Beth Sholom in Miami Beach.

Adler was a freshman at Ransom Everglades High School and a ballerina with the Miami City Ballet.

"We are heartbroken," Ransom Everglades posted on Facebook. "Ella Adler '27 shined in our classrooms and on our stages, and she embodied the mission of Ransom Everglades School. We wish peace and comfort to her family."

"We at Miami City Ballet and the Miami City Ballet School are utterly devastated by the heartbreaking news of this tragic accident," said the organization which described Adler as a beloved student and a magnificent dancer who graced their stage. "Our hearts go out to Ella's family, friends, and everyone who had the privilege of knowing and adoring her. As we come together, we will profoundly grieve the loss of Ella, and hold dear the precious memories we were fortunate enough to create with her."

"We extend our deepest condolences to the Adler family at this difficult time," the US Embassy to Belgium said in a statement. "Out of respect for their privacy, we have nothing further."

Anyone who saw the accident or anyone who might have video footage or information about it is urged to call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).

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