Body of missing swimmer found west of Pier 60

Pinellas County

The body of a missing swimmer was recovered Tuesday afternoon, a mile west of Pier 60.

Clearwater police said Allison Nicole Sullivan went missing around 3:30 a.m.

The 40-year-old, visiting from Morristown, TN, went into the water behind the Holiday Inn, located on Gulfview Boulevard.

Julius and Meridy Mendoza are staying at a nearby hotel on Clearwater Beach for their anniversary.

They were on their balcony this morning when they saw three people, two women and a man, go into the water.

“They were jumping around and having a good time and they kind of moved over where you couldn’t see them but you could still hear them,” said Meridy Mendoza.

She said laughter soon turned to panic.

“The other girl opening up the car door and getting like flashlights and they ran back down and they had the flash lights all over,” she said.

“Heard the helicopter and then it was like the realization that there was something serious going on. That’s when I told mu husband, ‘oh my gosh, I don’t remember seeing that person getting out of the water.'”

Police said the area is known to have rough currents.

“This is an area near Clearwater Pass, near the Sand Key Bridge that frequently has dangerous currents, especially when the tide is going out and detectives have indicted that at the time she went swimming and subsequently missing, that the current was going out at that time,” said Rob Shaw with the Clearwater Police Department.

This is not the way the Mendoza’s wanted to celebrate their day.

“We were very concerned at that point. You know having seen it and actually processing what was happening it was a pretty sad situation,” said Julius Mendoza.

Investigators said it will be up to the medical examiner’s office to determine the cause of death.

The case remains under investigation.

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