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Body of missing Daytona Beach attorney Jim Evans recovered, Coast Guard announced

Daytona Beach News-Journal logo Daytona Beach News-Journal 9/8/2021 Patricio G. Balona, The Daytona Beach News-Journal
a man standing in front of a body of water: Body of missing Daytona Beach attorney Jim Evans recovered, Coast Guard announced on Twitter late Tuesday © / photo provided Body of missing Daytona Beach attorney Jim Evans recovered, Coast Guard announced on Twitter late Tuesday

UPDATE: The U.S. Coast Guard said late Tuesday night that it had recovered the body of missing Daytona Beach attorney Jim Evans. The body was found 8 miles southeast of Port Canaveral, the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville announced on its Twitter page at 10 p.m.

Original story below:

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for local attorney Jim Evans who disappeared while diving off the coast of Daytona Beach on Friday. 

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Jim Evans, a Daytona Beach attorney, disappeared while diving 30 miles off the coast on Friday. The search for Evans was suspended Monday night without Evans being found, U.S. Coast Guard officials said. © Marsha Evans Cooksey Jim Evans, a Daytona Beach attorney, disappeared while diving 30 miles off the coast on Friday. The search for Evans was suspended Monday night without Evans being found, U.S. Coast Guard officials said.

Evans is still missing and the news has hit the family hard, said David Smith, Evans' uncle and an assistant state attorney, on Tuesday. 

Evans was the son of Smith’s sister. 

“He has been very much a part of my life,” Smith said. “He is like a child to me.” 

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Evans’ birthday was Monday, the same day that the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville announced at 10 p.m. that it was suspending its search. He reportedly disappeared during a dive 30 miles east off the coast of Daytona Beach. 

“He would have been 51,” Smith said. 

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Ayla Hudson, said Evans was out at sea diving with others on Friday. When Evans didn't return from his dive, his companions called the Coast Guard. 

On Monday night, the U.S. Coast Guard, assisted by other agencies and local residents in their search, said that the operation covered 5,297 square nautical miles and involved 100 search hours. 

Smith said the Friday dive “wasn’t anything special” as Evans was a member of the local diving community and is known to catch lobsters off the Florida Keys. He also liked going off the coast of Daytona Beach to spear fish, Smith said. 

Smith said he knew his nephew went out diving on Friday but got the news at 2 p.m. that he was missing. 

“I got a call and I was told that he had gone down and he had not come up,” Smith said. 

“I think he was out there lobstering,” Smith said. “Yes, he loved seafood.” 

Previously: Attorney missing since Friday after dive off of Daytona Beach coast

Despite the painful news that Evans had not been found, Smith said he and his family are very grateful for all the effort search crews put into finding his nephew. 

“Words cannot express how thankful we are to the U.S. Coast Guard, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, (Florida) Fish and Wildlife,” Smith said. “Also, to all local divers, boaters, fishermen and other people in the community, who took their planes to search for Jim.” 

Local community members will continue to search for Evans, Smith said.

This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Body of missing Daytona Beach attorney Jim Evans recovered, Coast Guard announced

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