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Third body found after stolen car crashes into St. Lucie River

Vehicle plunged into river early Tuesday morning
Posted at 8:44 AM, May 08, 2024

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — A second and third body was found Wednesday after a car that was stolen from Boynton Beach crashed into the St. Lucie River early Tuesday morning, the Martin County Sheriff's Office confirmed to WPTV.

The vehicle plunged into the water near the intersection of Southwest Kanner Highway and Southeast Cove Road.

The second body was found at about 7:45 a.m. while the third body was found just after 1 p.m. Deputies said both bodies were found in the same area of the river.

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"The body we recovered was right where the car went down, so even though there's a current, the body did not float downstream," Sheriff William Snyder said.

The identities of the two people have not been released.

Snyder said Tuesday that a 17-year-old's body, later identified as Marcus Griffin of Lake Worth, was found inside the submerged car shortly after it crashed.

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The sheriff had said that five pairs of shoes were found during the search, which led the sheriff's office to believe that three people had drowned.

"There were five pairs of slip-on shoes that we recovered. ... One of the occupants said there were five people in the car," Snyder said earlier Wednesday.

Two others who were inside the vehicle — an 18-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy, both from Boynton Beach, were found alive after the wreck. They were placed in custody but later released.

Assistant State Attorney David Lustgarten speaks on May 8, 2024, about possible charges two teens could face after a stolen car crashed into the St. Lucie River, resulting in three deaths.
Assistant State Attorney David Lustgarten speaks on May 8, 2024, about possible charges two teens could face after a stolen car crashed into the St. Lucie River, resulting in three deaths.

The sheriff mentioned the teens could eventually face capital murder charges, saying the State Attorney's Office told them not to make any arrests yet.

WPTV spoke with Assistant State Attorney David Lustgarten, who said there are certain circumstances, such as aggravated fleeing and eluding, which if it led to death, could lead to those charges.

"I'm not closing that possibility out," Lustgarten said. "I'm waiting for all evidence to be collected, but it's my understanding, and the evidence is that there was no actual pursuit."

"Somebody died in the commission of a felony. That would be the stolen car," Snyder said.

The Boynton Beach Police Department told WPTV the car was stolen from Mahogany Bay Drive, which correlates with an apartment complex.