Deputies stepping up patrols on Sanibel Causeway for holiday weekend

Reporter: Michael Hudak Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

Deputies are stepping up patrols on the Sanibel Causeway ahead of the holiday weekend, but the push for more safety measures at the beach park isn’t new.

Lee County and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office say together they will be watching the Sanibel Causeway like a hawk this Memorial Day weekend.

One woman WINK News spoke with said this is a good thing. Just last year her daughter died in a car on the causeway and went unnoticed for nearly 100 hours.

Every single may, Angelika Geerlof relives her nightmare.

“Oh my goodness, my daughter, she was bubbly, kind, giving, full of life, outgoing, happy. She was a good girl, she had a lot of potential,” said Geerlof.

Her daughter would have been 29 this month if it wasn’t for what took place on the Sanibel Causeway.

“Every time I pass the spot where she passed away, I’m in tears. And that’s every single time,” said Geerlof.

Her daughter, Brianna Geerlof, and Brianna’s boyfriend disappeared in early 2021.

“On January 29, I got no good night text. And in the morning on the 30th. I got no good morning. So I immediately knew that something was wrong,” said Geerlof.

Four days, after Geerlof reported the couple missing, four days after they parked on the causeway, they were found decomposing in Brianna’s car.

She died of an overdose and no one noticed even though there was a “No parking after dusk” notice on the causeway.

“It took that many days for someone to see a vehicle in the same spot unmoved,” said Geerlof. “I’m just I’m just glad that they are now there and patrolling it.”

Ever since then, Geerlof’s fought with the strength she has left for more patrols and security on the causeway.

MORE: Mother of woman found dead on Sanibel Causeway wants more patrols in area

They can’t save her child, but they might save someone else’s.

“It will hopefully save other families from having to confront you know what decomposed body situation and saying, hey, you know, you can’t see your child because she’s unrecognizable,” said Geerlof.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office put a watchtower up and patrols are on the job.

Deputies want everyone to know alcohol is not allowed, and the island and causeway are closed from dusk until dawn.

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