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A Florida doctor has vanished at sea with no evidence of foul play

The Coast Guard said Sunday it was suspending its search for Dr. Chaundre Cross, who set sail from Naples on Aug 10. His boat was found the next day.

Hopes of finding a Florida doctor alive almost a week after he set sail on the Gulf of Mexico were diminishing Tuesday.

The Coast Guard announced Sunday that it had suspended its search for Dr. Chaundre Cross, 49, of Naples, more than three days after crews found his 33-foot vessel, Vitamin Sea, adrift about 16 miles south of Sanibel Island, a Gulf Coast getaway near Fort Myers.

Cross set off from Naples on the morning of Aug. 10, but by early evening the Collier County Sheriff's Office said it was looking for him because family members expressed concern about his whereabouts.

Dr. Chaundre Cross.
Dr. Chaundre Cross.WBBH

Discovery of the unoccupied boat Aug. 11 prompted Coast Guard crews to search overnight for a person in the water, the agency said. It continued to use a Coast Guard cutter, a patrol boat, response boats, Jayhawk and Hercules helicopters, and fixed-wing aircraft to search for Cross through Sunday.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission agents, Naples police and sheriff's deputies with Collier and Lee counties helped, the Coast Guard said.

"It is always a difficult decision to suspend a search and rescue case,” Capt. Michael Kahle, the commander of the Coast Guard's St. Petersburg sector, said in a statement Sunday. "Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the family and friends of Dr. Cross during this difficult time."

Cross is a Harvard Medical School-trained radiation oncologist who specializes in prostate, breast and brain cancers, according to his LinkedIn page. He has worked in Bonita Springs and Naples, according to his employer, the cancer services company GenesisCare.

A biography published by GenesisCare says Cross is "a national expert in prostate, breast and brain cancers" who serves on national advisory boards for the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.

He was raised in Houston. His grandfather was a county judge in Kansas and his mother a violinist who studied at the Juilliard School and performed along with Beyoncé, Sammy Davis Jr. and Led Zeppelin, according to a 2014 obituary originally published in the Naples Daily News.

Cross’ father, Dr. Cartrell J. Cross, is a pulmonologist in Naples.

In recent days, reports have noted that Chaundre Cross’ wife, Sarah Jo, filed for divorce the day he set sail from Naples Bay Marina. Collier County court records confirm the filing for dissolution, which lists the doctor as the respondent.

Authorities have not mentioned the divorce proceeding as a factor in his case, and they have not said there is any evidence of foul play.