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Body of missing boy found in the Gulf

Panama City Beach Police are looking for new leads as they continue to search for a missing...
Panama City Beach Police are looking for new leads as they continue to search for a missing 6-year-old boy, Enrique Cortez-Dubon.(PANAMA CITY BEACH POLICE DEPARTMENT)
Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 10:07 AM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Update 7/06.21 9:45 p.m.

The Panama City Beach Police Chief J.R. Talamantez confirmed the body of Enrique Cortez-Dubon had been found in the gulf between the area of Public Beach Access 21 and 22 by a bystander in a condo.

“It’s tragic. It’s upsetting. It’s definitely not the outcome we wanted,” said Chief Talamantez.

The department is asking you to respect the family’s privacy at this time.

“This is about as bad as he gets. No police officer wants to come up here and say that a child has died, especially no police chief wants to come up here and say that happens in your city. They came down with a certain amount of children, now they’re going to have to go back home with one less,” said Chief Talamantez.

The child had last been seen in knee-deep water on Monday.

“Make no mistake, this is not the parent’s fault. This is nobody’s fault. This was a tragic accident. The fact is that the Gulf of Mexico was a dangerous place. You need to respect it as you would anything else that is dangerous,” Chief Talamantez added.

Enrique’s body was turned over to the medical examiner’s office, Chief Talamantez said that this investigation is ongoing in that regard.

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UPDATE 07/06/21 5:05 p.m.:

Officials have confirmed the body of Enrique Cortez-Dubon has been found.

A press conference is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT where more details will be released.

UPDATE: July 6, 2021 (3:55 p.m.)

Panama City Beach Police officials said they’re continuing to investigate the missing child as both a possible drowning and an abduction. A spokesperson for the department tells Newschannel 7 police are following abduction protocols as well as employing drones, dive teams and helicopter searches of the water,

Officials said six-year-old Enrique Cortez-Dubon was last seen in knee high water, and officers said they were told the child did not swim well and was not wearing floaties.

Beach Police said at this time, there’s no evidence of an abduction; however, they tell us they can’t abandon their response team efforts with that portion of the investigation.

They said evidence is leading them to believe Enrique went missing in the water.

Police also said they’re extremely concerned with potential 40 mph winds coming into the area Tuesday evening, as well as the potential for high seas on Wednesday. They said this could deter water search efforts.

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Panama City Beach Police continue to search for a child they say has been missing since Monday afternoon. A link has been created for potential witnesses to upload any photos or videos which might contain images of 6-year-old Enrique Cortez-Dubon.

“We continue to ask for the public’s help in locating missing 6-year-old Enrique Cortez-Dubon,” said Police Chief J.R. Talamantez. “We are asking all visitors and locals to please check your cell phone photographs and videos taken beachside in the area between Majestic Beach Resort and the Boardwalk Beach Resort, especially around Pineapple Willy’s, between 11:15 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Monday, July 5.”

If you believe you have photos of the child, wearing a teal blue shirt and light blue shorts, please fill out this form and upload photos here: https://form.jotform.com/21186320978706

Panama City Beach Police are looking for a missing 6-year-old last seen on the beach behind the...
Panama City Beach Police are looking for a missing 6-year-old last seen on the beach behind the Shores of Panama on Thomas Drive.(PANAMA CITY BEACH POLICE DEPARTMENT)

According to police, Enrique stands roughly 3 feet tall. Officials said he was last seen around 11:30 a.m. Monday, July 5, on the beach at Shores of Panama on Thomas Drive. Police said his family was staying there on vacation while visiting from the Atlanta area. Around noon, officials said the family realized Enrique was missing and called law enforcement.

More than 80 first responders searched for the young boy on Monday. Drone and helicopter searches are being conducted, as well as dive searches.

“We desperately need the public’s help,” said Talamantez. “If anyone saw anything, we need to know. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family. As we know, this is every parent’s worst nightmare.”

Anyone with any information, please call the Panama City Beach Police Department at (850) 233-5000 or by dialing 911.

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