Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Four crew members were missing from a boat found adrift and two passengers, one of them a fugitive from Arkansas, were being questioned by federal authorities Tuesday after they were rescued in the Florida Straits near Cuba. Kirby Logan Archer, 35, of Strawberry, Ark., and Guillermo Zarabozo, 19, of Hialeah, were found in good condition Monday morning on a life raft. They were brought back to land and FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela said they were being questioned about what happened on the boat. The two men had paid the crew of a Miami Beach charter boat $4,000 to taken them to Bimini, Bahamas, where they said girls were waiting for them, authorities said.
The Joe CoolHalf way through the trip from Florida to Bimini, the boat turned south. "That leads us to believe that something happened at that time," said Coast Guard Petty Officer James Judge. The 47-foot sport fishing yacht "Joe Cool" was found Sunday afternoon adrift near the Cay Sal Bank in the Bahamas with no one on board. A search was being conducted Tuesday from just north of Cuba to the Bahamas and South Florida for the captain, Jake Branam, 27; his wife Kelley Branam; his half brother, Scott Campbell, 30; and Samuel Kairy, 27, all of Miami Beach, authorities said. Archer is accused of stealing $92,620 in cash from a Wal-Mart in Batesville, Ark., where he had worked as an assistant manager, authorities said. The cash was reported missing shortly after Archer left work on Jan. 26, according to a police wanted poster.