Body found during search for woman missing in Belize

The U.S. Embassy in Belize said they have been notified that an American citizen was reported missing after jet skiing in the area around Ambergris Caye.

Rickilee Mercer, of Spring, left for Belize on Feb. 24. She was taking a vacation with friends, according to her family.

On Tuesday night, her family got the call that she was missing. Authorities told her family that she had been missing since around 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Her family said Mercer was on a jet ski with a man when she went missing. That man was questioned while in police custody, but has since been released, according to reports.

Her family doesn't believe she knew the man or went on the trip with him. The family believes he was a tourist as well and the two may have met on the trip.

The father of one of Mercer's friends said the body was identified as that of Mercer, but an in-person identification will take place on Thursday.

Natella Svistunova, from the Office of Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy, said the embassy was informed that a body had been found in the area where the search for Mercer was taking place.

Svistunova said the identity of the body is unknown at this time. According to the Belize Police Department, the woman’s body was found at about one thirty this afternoon, four miles northwest of Secret Beach, around the vicinity of Blackadore Caye with apparent injuries to her neck. Her body has since been transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City awaiting a postmortem examination.

A family friend told the Houston Chronicle that they were thrown off the Jet Ski and the current ripped them apart. He was saved right offshore by a boat and said that he had been swimming for an hour and a half." Post mortem results should be released tomorrow.

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