Marquis Cooper's father explains why family called off search

1:34 PM, Mar 6, 2009   |    comments
Bruce Cooper
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Odessa, Florida -- From his son's home, Bruce Cooper tells 10 Connects over the phone that his family has called off their search efforts to find Marquis.


Bruce Cooper says new information came to light late last night that made the family believe Marquis is gone.


The family says, as Nick Schuyler continues to get better, his recollection becomes more clear by the day.  Bruce Cooper says Schuyler recently gave authorities a more detailed account of what happened in those final moments while the men were hanging on to the capsized boat.


"His [Schuyler's] recollection of the facts are believable to us," said Bruce Cooper.


Cooper did not want to elaborate on what that new information is but says authorities will release it soon. 


While this is a devastating reality for the family, Bruce Cooper said, "I'm just thankful Nick Schuyler is clear-minded enough now to give a detailed account of what really happened."


The Cooper family, led by Marquis' father Bruce, has been reaching out to the media for help in their own private search since Tuesday - when the Coast Guard called off its search for the remaining three missing boaters.


Within the past two days, ten planes were in the air and roughly twenty-five boats were in the water, helping the family with their own search and rescue efforts.


Today, the Cooper family says they will not speak in front of any cameras.  "Our family cannot handle anything of that nature right now," said Bruce Cooper.


The family says they will not hold a memorial in the Bay area and asks the community to "memorialize him [Marquis] in their own hearts."


For a father who was holding out hope that his son was still alive, now facing the reality that he is gone, Bruce Cooper said, "The only thing that's going to heal us is time."


Cooper told 10 Connects he will stay in the Bay area through the weekend.  He wants to stay with Marquis' wife and three-year-old daughter to help tie up loose ends with their Odessa house and their belongings - most of which are in storage because Marquis was set to start training with the Oakland Raiders next week.


Bruce Cooper says he will probably leave sometime next week because his daughter Danielle, who is a sophomore at the University of Arizona, needs to get back to school. 


Erica Pitzi, 10 Connects Reporter

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