Gerardo Nales Found: Body Of Florida Man Who Fell From Single-Engine Passenger Plane Near Miami Located, Report Says

  @AndrewBerry1 on November 16 2013 5:45 PM

The body of a man who fell 2,000 feet from a private plane off the Florida coast near Miami is believed to have been found.

As NBC Miami reports, the Miami-Dade Police Department Homicide Bureau discovered the body of Gerardo Nales, 42, of Key Biscayne, in a mangrove area near Southwest 184th Street in Miami. The body was found at 10:30 a.m. EST Saturday.

"Even though we presume that the body found is that of Gerardo Nales, investigators are pending 'official identification' from the medical examiner's office," Miami-Date Police Department spokesman Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said in a statement, according to the Los Angeles Times.

According to CNN, the pilot of the single-engine Piper PA-46 aircraft issued a mayday distress call on Thursday afternoon.

"I have a door ajar," the pilot said. "And a passenger that fell down."

The pilot and Nales were the only people on the plane -- which was flying at an altitude of 1,800 feet about two miles from shore  -- when the passenger "opened the back door and he just fell down the plane," the pilot said, according to CNN.

It is not currently known if Nales deliberately jumped to his death or if he accidentally fell out of the plane.

As the Los Angeles Times notes, the plane had just taken off from Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport when the incident occurred about eight miles away. After the man fell from the plane, the aircraft turned around and landed safely back at the airport, which is 10 miles southwest of downtown Miami.

The search for Nales began Thursday afternoon. According to the Los Angeles Times, police said Friday they would call off the search on Saturday afternoon if the body hadn’t been found.

According to CNN, Miami-Date homicide detectives are involved in the case, which is standard procedure for all death investigations.

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