MANATEE — The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office released a video clip Monday showing the helicopter rescue of two missing teens off the upper Myakka River Saturday night.
Olivia Kate Tuccillo, 15, was missing since Friday when she apparently ran away from home. Authorities feared she might be in danger after she did not return home from school on Friday.
According to Wendy Rose, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, the video begins as Pilot Deputy Dave Bouffard and Tactical Flight Officer Ray Vleck find the teens.
“You will hear some radio traffic about the difficult conditions that made ground rescue impossible so the Coast Guard was called to perform the extraction,” Rose wrote in an email. “The end of the video shows Coast Guard personnel being lowered from their helicopter to hoist the pair to safety.”
According to Manatee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dave Bristow, deputies believed Tuccillo was with her boyfriend, Caleb Stewart. Bristow did not have Stewart’s age.
“We got information from a third individual of where they could possibly be. They tried to take a shortcut through a wooded, slumpy area and they got lost,” Bristow said.
Bristow said the third individual, another teenager, was with Tuccillo and her boyfriend but had left them. He said they were trying to take a shortcut to a business.
“We went there, we heard them but we couldn’t get them,” said Bristow, adding that’s where the helicopter’s aid came in. “They were taken for observation but they were going to be OK.”
According to Bristow, it was easier to get the teenagers by a helicopter because of the area they were in. He added that the sheriff’s office received tips on where Tuccillo could be, including one from a caller who said she saw the 15-year-old at a store in Myakka City on Friday.
Amaris Castillo, law enforcement/island reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. Follow her on Twitter@AmarisCastillo