UPDATE: Brandon Scerri, the missing shrimp boat crew member, was located this morning alive and well. Crime Stoppers appreciates the sharing of this information by the public and local media outlets.
FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. -- Authorities are searching for a man reported missing off a shrimp boat near Fort Myers Beach.
The Lee County Sheriff Office confirms that FWC and the U.S. Coast Guard are searching for the crew member using a helicopter and boats.
They say they were called by the Lee County Sheriff's Office around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday after the shrimp boat returned to port at the Trico Shrimp Company.
Brandon Scerri, DOB 4/9/95, was reported missing off the shrimp boat “Jacob”, which was on a return trip from the Florida Keys/Dry Tortuga area. Scerri is a transient on Fort Myers Beach, who has been known to frequent the Chapel by the Sea church on Estero Boulevard and has no local family members. Investigators say Scerri has been a missing person in the past and may suffer from mental health issues.
A crew member tells 4 In Your Corner Scerri attacked him on the boat, before they decided to head back. He believes Scerri jumped off the boat while crew members were sleeping, anchored near the Lani Kai Island Resort, because he was afraid he would be turned in to authorities for assault. "When we were going to bring him in I walked to my bunk, then heard footsteps behind me and when I turned around, he had a sledge hammer coming to my face," said Lazaro Garcia. "He knew the consequences that were going to happen and he didn't want to go to jail so he jumped in the water."
Anyone who has seen Scerri within the last 24 hours is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477). All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $3,000. Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com [southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com] or by submitting a tip through the P3Tips mobile app.