Body found, believed to be missing Apollo Beach ‘hero’ who attempted to rescue father, son

Hillsborough County

APOLLO BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) – Investigators believe they have recovered the body of a Good Samaritan who attempted to rescue a father and son on Friday night in Apollo Beach.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says the body of 27-year-old Kristoff Murray was recovered this afternoon, pending identification through the Medical Examiner’s Office.

At 12:41 p.m. on Monday, the body of an adult male matching the height, weight, and clothing description of Murray was located by Hillsborough County Zoning and Maritime Safety on a spoil island west of the TECO Power Plant in Apollo Beach located a mile away from the Apollo Beach Nature Preserve.

The HCSO Marine Unit was notified, recovered the body, and contacted relatives of Murray to inform them of the finding.

“We hope the Murray family can get some peace and closure,” Chronister said.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said Janosh Purackal and his 3-year-old son Daniel Purackal were swimming near the Apollo Beach Nature Preserve when they were swept away by the current around 9 p.m. Friday evening. Their bodies were recovered shortly after the incident.

Courtesy Purackal family 

According to witnesses, the two were said to be wading in the water at the nature preserve, when a strong current swept them further into the water. Murray went into the water in an attempt to save them.

“Since Friday night’s tragedy, we put an extensive amount of resources into our search, because we wanted to provide this brave man’s family with the same amount of hope he gave to a father and son in their time of need,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “His actions were nothing short of heroic. While this is not the outcome anyone wanted, I hope that with this finding, Mr. Murray’s family will get some form of closure.”

The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office is conducting a thorough examination to confirm identity and an exact cause of death.

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