Judith Valentin: Haitian woman who washed ashore on Palm Beach accidentally drowned

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Authorities say a Haitian woman whose body washed ashore in Palm Beach in August accidentally drowned during a smuggling operation.

According to a police report, Judith Valentin's body was found Aug. 28 by a turtle rescue volunteer. That same morning, local and federal authorities were investigating a report about migrants coming ashore.

Nine Haitians were detained, including a 3-year-old boy with his mother. They had taken a boat from Haiti to the Bahamas and then to Florida.

According to the police report, the migrants described getting off the boat in the dark in waters that were over some of their heads. Investigators say none described being forced off the boat.

An autopsy concluded that Valentin drowned, and her body showed no signs of other trauma.

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