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Body of a 12-year-old girl found in Louisiana bayou

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Samantha Vinturella, 12, was thrown overboard after her boat crashed
  • She was not wearing a personal flotation device
  • Police are investigating the cause of the crash

(CNN) -- Search and rescue teams Tuesday recovered the body of a 12-year-old Mandeville, Louisiana, girl who was reported missing after two boats collided.

Samantha Vinturella's body was found about six miles away from Shell Beach Bayou, where the accident occurred Saturday, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said in a news release.

Department agents, police and members of the Coast Guard and Navy had been searching since the collision.

Paul Battle, 48, was operating the boat with Vinturella and three other children aboard when the accident occurred. All four children flew overboard. All except Vinturella, who was not wearing a floatation device, were recovered from the water, the department said.

Battle was taken to a hospital with serious injuries. Neither Marion Funchess, 61, who was operating the other vessel, nor the one passenger aboard that boat sustained major injuries.

Officials with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are leading the investigation into the crash and Vinturella's death.

A mass was to be held for Vinturella Tuesday afternoon in Mandeville, CNN affiliate WDSU said.