Body of missing Vero Beach man found; police believe he drowned

Posted at 8:51 AM, Sep 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-15 14:44:32-04

UPDATE: A person called Vero Beach police Friday morning to report a body had washed ashore near the 2300 block of Ocean Drive.

Police identified the man as 32-year-old Johnnie F. Thomas of Vero Beach.

Earlier in the week police reported Thomas missing after witnesses said he did not resurface while swimming in the ocean.

Police are investigating his death as an apparent drowning.  


A Vero Beach man is missing and may have drowned in the ocean, according to the Vero Beach Police Department.

Following a 911 call about a man in distress, officers responded to the 1500 block of Ocean Drive Wednesday afternoon.

Witnesses told police the man appeared to be having difficulties about 100 yards offshore.

He was seen going under the water and did not resurface, according to police.

The Coast Guard, Indian River County Sheriff's Office helicopter, as well as Indian River County Fire Rescue were called into assist with the search, the police department said. 

Police identified the missing man as 32-year-old Johnnie Thomas of Vero Beach.

 They say search efforts will continue.