Cape family seeking closure nearly a year after son’s disappearance

Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. Javier Castro’s family is still desperate for answers nearly a year after he disappeared off the coast of Gasparilla Island State Park.

Castro vanished June 18, 2016 while trying to save his siblings after they were caught in a strong current.

Catro’s sister and two brothers were rescued by bystanders at Range Light beach on Boca Grande that afternoon, but Castro was nowhere to be found.

U.S. Coast Guard crews covered 250 square nautical miles during 20 searches by air and sea looking for the missing 21-year-old, but to no avail.

Crews canceled the search after 24 hours, but Castro’s family and several volunteers continued to look for the next four months.

“It’s a nightmare, a nightmare that you can’t wake up from,” said Sandra Castro, Javier’s mother.

The sight of his son disappearing into the ocean is still fresh in Edwin Castro’s memory.

“I see Javi struggling with a life jacket and then a wave came, covered him,” he said. “I see that all the time.”

Sandra Castro has a strong message for other parents.

“Please, keep your kids close,” she said. “Tell them that you love them because you never know when’s the last time you’re going to see them.”

A memorial service will be held at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Cape Coral Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.