Florida plane crashes in Gulf of Mexico, body of woman and child found, officials say

The plane crashed approximately 2.5 miles west of the Venice Fishing Pier

A Florida plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico Saturday evening, and rescue crews have found the body of a woman and a child whom they believe were associated with the plane. 

The single-engine Piper PA-28 crashed in the Gulf of Mexico after departing Venice Municipal Airport in Florida around 7:30 p.m. local time, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The crash occurred around 2.5 miles west of the Venice Fishing Pier, according to the City of Venice. 

Rescue crews search for the missing plane. 

Rescue crews search for the missing plane.  (City of Venice)

The FAA contacted the Venice Police Department after the plane never reached its planned destination, the city said. 

VPD confirmed Sunday afternoon that air assets found the plane's wreckage approximately 1/3 of a mile west offshore, directly west of Venice Municipal Airport. 

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Around the same time, the City of Venice said, recreational boaters located the body of a woman floating in the Gulf around 2.5 miles west of Venice Beach. 

A helicopter scans the waters. 

A helicopter scans the waters.  (WTVT)

Rescue officials found the wreckage of the helicopter Sunday afternoon. 

Rescue officials found the wreckage of the helicopter Sunday afternoon.  (WTVT)

The body of a woman and a child have been found, rescue officials say. 

The body of a woman and a child have been found, rescue officials say.  (WTVT)

Later Sunday afternoon, divers from the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office located a deceased juvenile within the plane's passenger area. A male pilot or passenger is believed to have been on the plane, but he has not been found, the city said. 

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The cause of the crash is not clear at this time. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating in coordination with Venice police, the Venice Fire Department, the Venice Airport Director, U.S. Coast Guard, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, FWC, and the Sarasota Police Department. 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.