Family of Missing Florida Boater Files Lawsuit Against FWC

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Months after Dale Hossfield’s empty boat ran aground at Melbourne Beach, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission released its investigative report finding the 68-year-old Vero Beach man fell from his boat half a mile offshore. Despite a massive six-day search by the Coast Guard, Dale’s body was never found. the people who put the boat in the water said he was alone? And that’s about it,” Melinda Hossfield said. InsuranceAmong his concerns: Hossfield had been threatened, carried guns and two weeks prior had taken out a life insurance policy. According to witnesses in the FWC report, he was not suicidal. Melinda and her brother Gabriel Whalen have now filed a formal complaint with the agency’s inspector general, saying, “FWC grossly mishandled the investigation into our father’s disappearance enough to impact the outcome of the case.” “We found a week later when we went to the marina, his pants, his phone, his dentures,” Melinda said. “I feel like if someone had actually treated the boat, they would have taken these things.” They were also surprised that investigators let an acquaintance bring Sebastian’s boat back to Fort Pierce Marina, writing, “They (FWC) have again corrupted any valuable evidence from the single scene of a potential crime.” Previous cover: Missing Vero Beach boater Dale Hossfield suspected of falling overboard, FWC report says No blood, no signs of a struggle The FWC report noted that investigators saw no blood, no sign of struggle or anything indicating foul play. And a line in an additional report that was redacted in the main report says a surveillance camera caught something splashing overboard two minutes before the boat ran aground. Was it Dale as the investigators think? If so, what happened to his body Or could it have been someone else who abandoned the boat and swam to shore? “I’m really discouraged, really scared. I’m afraid I’ll never know at this point, and it breaks my heart. I just really want to know what happened to my dad,” Melinda said. FWC reviewed the complaint and a senior officer contacted the family to discuss their concerns. They are working to get a response from WPBF. 25 News of the complaint in the investigation. If you saw Dale Hossfield on his boat leaving the entrance to Ft. Pierce or at any time on May 18, please call detectives from the Indian River Sheriff’s Office or FWC.

Months after Dale Hossfield’s empty boat ran aground in Melbourne Beach, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission released its investigation report concluding that the 68-year-old Vero Beach man fell from his boat half a mile offshore.

Despite a massive six-day search by the Coast Guard, Dale’s body was never found.

The Hossfield children told WPBF 25 News Investigative Reporter Terri Parker they do not believe investigators considered all the evidence before concluding that he fell overboard.

“I think they’re basing it on the fact that the people who put the boat in the water said he was alone? And that’s about it,” Melinda Hossfield said.

Hossfield said he informed investigators from the FWC and other agencies involved in the case of several suspicious circumstances surrounding Dale’s disappearance.

Threats, guns, life insurance

Among her concerns: Hossfield had been threatened, carried guns and two weeks prior had taken out a life insurance policy. According to witnesses in the FWC report, he was not suicidal.

Melinda and her brother Gabriel Whalen have now filed a formal complaint with the agency’s inspector general, saying:

“FWC grossly mishandled the investigation into our father’s disappearance enough to impact the outcome of the case.”

“We found a week later when we went to the marina, his pants, his phone, his dentures,” Melinda said. “I feel like if someone had actually treated the boat, they would have taken these things.”

CC

Dale Hossfield’s phone found on a boat a week later

They were also surprised that investigators let an acquaintance bring Sebastian’s boat back to Fort Pierce Marina, writing:

“They (FWC) have further corrupted any probative value of the single scene of a potential crime.”

Previous Cover: Missing Vero Beach boater Dale Hossfield fell overboard, FWC report says

No blood, no sign of struggle

The FWC report noted that investigators saw no blood, signs of a struggle or anything indicative of foul play.

And a line from an additional report that was redacted in the main report said a surveillance camera caught something splashing overboard two minutes before the boat ran aground.

Was it Dale as investigators believe? If so, what happened to his body? Or could it have been someone else who abandoned the boat and swam to shore?

“I’m really discouraged, really scared. I’m afraid I’ll never know at this point, and it breaks my heart. I really want to know what happened to my dad,” Melinda said.

FWC reviewed the complaint and a senior officer contacted the family to discuss their concerns.

They are working to get a response to WPBF 25 News regarding the complaint in the investigation.

If you saw Dale Hossfield on his boat leaving the Fort. Pierce inlet or anytime May 18 please call Indian River Sheriff’s Office detectives or CC.

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