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‘Homicide investigation’ continues in boat crash

Investigators continue to try to piece together how four people died and several more were critically injured July 4 in a Biscayne Bay crash, combing all three boats involved and looking for clues.

Meanwhile, the Miami-Dade County medical examiner’s office confirmed to the Miami Herald that autopsies have been completed on three of the victims: 23-year-old Andrew Garcia, who was piloting the 32-foot Contender center console that T-boned a 36-foot Carrera and also struck a Boston Whaler, and his two passengers, Kelsie Karpiak, 24, and Victoria Dempsey, 20. The body of Jason Soleimani, 23, who was aboard the Carrera, has been released to his family in New York.

Larry Cameron, operations director at the medical examiner’s office, declined to release the causes of death because of the active Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigation.

FWC spokesman Jorge Pino said Monday there was evidence of alcohol on board the Contender. He said his agency’s investigators must also examine other physical evidence, including the extent of damage, the vessels’lights and instrument panels and personal belongings on board. Coast Guard personnel will analyze information from the vessels’GPS units, which trace their paths through the bay. No arrests have been made.

“This is a homicide investigation,”Pino said. “It is tedious, lengthy and detailed. Innocent lives were lost and someone was responsible for that. What we need to figure out is who is responsible for causing this accident.”

Heather Hanono was planning to marry Soleimani, who died that night. Hanono’s mother spoke out to Local [Miami] 10 about their devastated plans to move to New York City together.