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Florida Family Demanding Answers After Missing Teen Found Dead in Retention Pond on Christmas Day

Royal Palm Beach, Fla. – The family of a teenage boy who went missing last week is demanding answers after finding his body on Christmas Day.

Vensly Maxime, 14, was reported missing on Wednesday. He had last been seen earlier that day in the area of the Royal Palm Beach Recreation Center. After a 3-day search, family members found the teen’s body submerged in a retention pond close to where he went missing.

The family says they now have more questions than answers.

“We are looking for justice and we are looking to find out why there was no search done,” said Yvenel Clermont, the teen’s uncle.

Although the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Deputies Office (PSBO) said there were no obvious signs of any injury or trauma, the teen’s family believes someone is responsible for his death. 

“I’m not OK. I probably will never be OK because somebody killed my little cousin,” said Dian Eliance. “We all want to know who did it. We all want to know why.”

Family members are also questioning law enforcement’s slow response to their initial report of Vensly’s disappearance last Wednesday. They feel not enough effort was given by law enforcement immediately after the teen was reported missing, saying they were out on their own searching for the teen. 

Community members say they found the teen’s belongings a day prior to finding his body but when deputies arrived at the scene they could not find the teen. It was family members who found Vensly’s body on Christmas day. 

“We don’t get full information. We looking for information and guess what? We find out the body, we have to come on Christmas day we find our own body by the rec center and the lake we find him my husband, my brother in law, my sister in law they find him and this is not good,” Eliance said.

According to PBSO, by Thursday they had as many as six uniformed personnel and a school detective searching along with drones, a helicopter, and a search rescue dog. 

PBSO released an update on the case Monday night, saying detectives learned that Vensly and a friend met up after school, local news channel reported. 

The friend told law enforcement that Vensly wasn’t feeling well so they started walking home. 

For unknown reasons, PBSO said, Vensly began acting in an unusual manner. The friend continued home and Vensly remained behind in the area of the Recreation Center.

Police say an investigation is still ongoing and the County’s Medical Examiner is still working to determine the cause of death.

Monday morning the 14-year-old’s family paid tribute to Vensly, placing flowers at the site where his body was found. Family members said the teen was very excited about Christmas and they dispute any suggestion that he may have killed himself.

Anyone that may have additional information is urged to contact Detective J. Gomez at 561-688-4052 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS.

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