Florida owner of boat ‘of interest’ in teen ballerina’s death identified, as more details of collision emerge

May 16, 2024 | Latest News | 0 comments

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The Florida owner of a boat matching the description of one that struck and killed a 15-year-old Florida ballerina on Saturday has been identified in an incident report obtained by Fox News Digital. 

Carlos Guillermo Alonso, 78, owned the white and blue center console boat that is described by state officials as a “vessel of interest” in the death of Ella Riley Adler, who fell into the water while wakeboarding behind a friend’s boat in Key Biscayne near Nixon Beach, according to the incident report. No charges have been filed in relation to the death, and Alonso is cooperating with the investigation, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said Thursday.

FWC officials previously said that Adler had been waterskiing before the collision.

Adler and another female were being towed behind a boat before they “fell off at different times / locations and both were in the water simultaneously,” the incident report said. A boat heading westbound struck fatally injured Adler, whose body was recovered by the other boat.

Alonso’s 42-foot Boston Whaler has been impounded by FWC.

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It is unclear whether Alonso was at the wheel when Adler was hit; there was one person aboard during the crash, according to the incident report. Alonso’s attorney, Lauren Field Krasnoff, told NBC6 that her client was “devastated” and had “no idea” that his boat may have been involved until authorities knocked at his door.

“If his boat was involved, I can tell you he had absolutely no idea that that is what happened that day. He is as devastated as anybody could be,” she told NBC6. “When the police came knocking, he did not know why.”

She also asserted that her client does not drink, that “he was not drinking on that Saturday,” and that he has had “no contact with the criminal system.” The incident report indicates that it is “unknown” whether alcohol was involved in the collision.

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“We are devastated for the Adlers, for their friends, their family, there’s no question in our minds that this is an absolutely horrific thing that happened and we pray for and think of their family and friends during this time,” Krasnoff said.

Kransoff also told reporters that Alonso, who goes by “Bill,” has been boating for 50 years.

Alonso was seen stepping out of his car and heading into his home with Kransoff’s assistance in footage shared by the outlet on Thursday. Fox News Digital has reached out to the lawyer for comment.

Adler was a student at Ransom Everglades School and a member of its dance team. The high-school freshman had been cast as a ballerina in “The Nutcracker” and had appeared in more than 100 performances with the Miami City Ballet at the Adrienne Arsht Center, according to her obituary. 

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“When she walked into a room, everyone was drawn to her,” her family wrote. “She loved to dance, she loved her friends, and most of all she loved her family.” 

Adler’s family wrote that she took pride in her Jewish heritage. 

“She was the great-granddaughter of Holocaust survivors,” her family said. “She loved Israel and came from a long line of Jewish leaders with a strong commitment to faith and tikkun olam.”

Dozens of the girl’s friends left emotional tributes on her obituary page. 

“At the beginning of this year when Ella joined the dance team, never would I imagine the impact she would have on me,” friend Lauren Scott said. “From her smile to her contagious laugh, when Ella walked into the studio there was no way not to share her joy.”

“No one had ever made me feel so confident in myself or so happy to go to school, knowing that I was going to see her,” friend Emma Fayad wrote. “She had a way of making you believe everything she said, because you knew that you could always trust her and confide in her. I never thought that I would have to say goodbye, especially so soon. I will miss you so much, and I can only hope that you rest in peace.”

In a statement, the private school wrote that Ella was “a wonderful dancer, served on the speech and debate team, and was a member of the Jewish Student Association,” and that she “was a treasured friend to many.” 

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levina Cava extended her condolences to the Adler family on X, writing that the public should “honor her memory by exercising better boat safety to ensure tragedies like this never happen again.” 

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