Brother To Sanchez Sisters Killed In Boating Accident

The brother of California Reps. Linda T. Sanchez and Loretta Sanchez was killed in a boating accident, the congresswomen confirmed in a statement Thursday.

"We have been notified by the U.S. Coast Guard and L.A. Coroner's Office that the bodies of Henry, our brother, and Penny, his girlfriend, have been recovered from the boat wreckage off the coast of Long Beach, Calif. It is with heavy hearts that we learn of their tragic fate," the congresswomen said a joint statement.

"We are comforted by the kind and loving messages that we have received from the community, our friends and colleagues. We ask that you keep our family and the Avila family in your prayers and also the brave men and women whose job it was to search for and recover our loved ones."

Investigators told the AP they believed the boat collided with a supply barge being towed by a tug boat. The bodies of Henry Sanchez, 51, and Penny Avila, 48, were pulled from the wreckage of Sanchez's 26-foot motor boat on Wednesday.

The couple had been missing since Oct. 3.