Brother to Reps. Sánchez Killed in Boat Accident

Posted October 9, 2008 at 11:19am

Updated: 3:13 p.m.

A body found in an ocean search is the brother of California Democratic Reps. Loretta and Linda Sánchez, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

The Los Angeles Times reported that dive teams discovered two bodies Wednesday night while searching for Henry Sánchez, brother to the two Congresswomen, and companion Penny Avila. The bodies were found amid boat wreckage off the coast of San Pedro, Calif.

Investigators are still trying to figure out why the boat sank; searchers said the boat may have collided with a barge.

The couple had been missing since last week.

“We have been notified by the U.S. Coast Guard and L.A. Coroner’s Office that the bodies of Henry, our brother, and Penny, his girlfriend, have been recovered from the boat wreckage off the coast of Long Beach, Calif. It is with heavy hearts that we learn of their tragic fate,” the Congresswomen said a joint statement.

“We are comforted by the kind and loving messages that we have received from the community, our friends and colleagues. We ask that you keep our family and the Avila family in your prayers and also the brave men and women whose job it was to search for and recover our loved ones.”