Why is FWC withholding information in Jose Fernandez investigation?

By: Andy Slater

South Florida has been mourning the death of Marlins ace Jose Fernandez since he was killed in a boat crash on Sept. 25.

Two other men, Emilio Macias and Eduardo Rivera, also died when a 32-foot boat hit a jetty off Miami Beach in the early hours of that Sunday morning.

Since the crash, there has been national interest in the details of what happened that night and how three young lives were taken.

Last week, the medical examiner completed toxicology reports in the crash.

I called over to the medical examiner’s office to obtain the reports, trying to get more details about the crash, as I had broken the story back on Sept. 25.

The medical examiner informed me that the case has a “do not release order” on them.

I called to FWC to find out why.  

This is the statement I received from Rob Klepper, the second FWC spokesman to work on the case:  “We have received the report from the Miami-Dade County medical examiner’s office.  The information contained in their report will provide valuable information to FWC investigations as they conduct our thorough and complete investigation.  As per our agency’s normal process, once our investigation is complete, all of our findings will be made available to the public.”

Here’s the problem with Mr. Klepper’s statement.

There were three men on the boat at the time of the crash.

All three were killed.

Under Florida law, the “investigation” that he references, would have to be a criminal one.

I contacted the State Attorney’s Office to find out if there could be any criminal investigation in this case.

The State Attorney’s Office said, “since the incident involved a single boat and there were no survivors, there can be no criminal prosecution derived from the FWC investigation.”

So, I once again contacted FWC to tell them the statute that they are using to hold the results is not applicable.

Once I reached back out to FWC, they contacted the State Attorney's Office to say that there could possibly be a criminal investigation and what had been told earlier was incorrect.

It’s pretty simple.

I am being given the runaround by FWC and have been since I broke the story.

The initial spokesperson in charge for FWC held a news conference just hours after the crash.

He said that the boat did not belong to Jose Fernandez.

That night, I appeared on ABC Local 10 and reported that sources told me, the boat did in fact belong to Jose.

Turned out, it was the pitcher’s boat.

That public information officer was removed from the case.

Over the past several days, I have consulted with multiple attorneys and multiple law enforcement sources.

There is no reason that the toxicology report should be held.

If there were only three people on the boat, and all three are dead, there is no possible flight risk based on information released.

I have been disappointed from the start of this investigation with the level of being forthcoming by FWC.

Why are they holding back information?

Is there something they are trying to hide?

This is a major tragedy and people want answers.

They are entitled to pieces of information that are public record.


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