Elderly Caymanian drowns in Florida

Maynell Scott
Maynell Scott

An elderly Caymanian who suffered from dementia went missing from an assisted-living home in Tampa Friday, and family members say his body was found in a nearby lake.

Police say Maynell Scott, 82, who is originally from Cayman Brac, suffered from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Hillsborough County, Florida Sheriff’s Office spokesman Larry McKinnon confirmed Wednesday that divers found Mr. Scott’s body in a lake less than a mile from Belvedere Commons, the facility where Mr. Scott lived north of downtown Tampa.

Mr. McKinnon said the medical examiner in Tampa is working to confirm the identity of the man.

Raymond Scott, Mr. Scott’s cousin, who lives on Cayman Brac, confirmed that police notified the family that the body was indeed that of Maynell Scott.

Mr. Scott grew up on the Brac, his cousin said, and left as a young man to become a seaman. After serving on ships, Mr. Scott worked at a bakery in Tampa. He moved back to the Brac when he retired, according to his cousin, and remained living on the island for about 10 years.

Raymond Scott said his cousin’s daughters moved him to the assisted-living facility in Tampa as he had developed Alzheimer’s.

He said his cousin “was a very caring, loving father to his family.”

“It was always a delight when he came back to visit the Brac” from Tampa, he said.

He told the Compass that his cousin’s daughters, who live in Tampa, were on their way to take their father to dinner when staff at the facility told them he was missing.

Speaking to Tampa news station Bay News 9, Mr. Scott’s daughter Yvonne Willis said she called to tell the home that they were on their way, “And they started crying and said ‘I’m sorry, we can’t find him right now.’”

“That’s my father,” she told the television station, “The love of my life. He’s taken care of us all our life, and now I will take care of him too.”

Local law enforcement used boats to search lakes in the area and bloodhounds to try to track Mr. Scott’s scent. On Tuesday evening, they found his body in a lake not far from the assisted-living home.

Police said they do not suspect foul play in Mr. Scott’s death.