MARGATE — A body that washed up in Margate Wednesday morning has been positively identified as that of missing 10-year-old Khitan Devine, Atlantic City police confirmed.
Khitan had been missing since Sunday evening, when he and several members of his family were caught in a rip current near a jetty off the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard beach in Atlantic City.
Fire and emergency workers responded to the Huntington Avenue beach about 11:30 a.m. for the body of a juvenile that Margate lifeguards saw floating in the surf, a few yards from shore.
The beach was nearly empty due to the weather, with strong winds, gray skies and cool temperatures. The beach was guarded at the time with two guards.
“It’s just a very dreary day out there, and there were any number of fire vehicles,” said nearby resident Pat Valenza, who watched the activity from her deck. “Just yesterday I was looking out there, thinking, ‘When will that child’s body wash up, and where will it wash up?’ And before they covered the body, you could see it had a red swimsuit on.”
Atlantic City Fire Chief Dennis Brooks said he was surprised the body was found so far south.
“I guess it’s happened before, but normally it stays in the vicinity,” Brooks said. “But the tides are going pretty good.”
The scene was cleared rather quickly, within 20 to 30 minutes, and the body was removed and taken to the morgue at Shore Medical Center in Somers Point.
“The coroner is in possession of the body,” Brooks said later. “I’m not sure if they’re going to let (the family) view it or not. That’s up to the coroner.”
Devine’s mother Tamika Walker did not return a call for comment.
The National Weather Service warns there is a high-risk for rip currents today.
As for the fire department and the other agencies involved in the search, Brooks said, Wednesday’s events marked the end of their work.
“We’re all officially done at this point,” he said.
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