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    Body on beach identified as missing firefighter

    By Times staff writers

    © St. Petersburg Times, published March 16, 2001


    Authorities have positively identified a body found last week in Charlotte County as that of Kenny Auletta, a Lealman firefighter-paramedic who disappeared while diving Feb. 21. Auletta, 26, was diving with other off-duty firefighters in the Gulf of Mexico about 6 miles off Clearwater Pass. The U.S. Coast Guard, the Pinellas Sheriff's Office and local fire departments searched for Auletta, but could not find him. A man walking on a beach in Charlotte County on March 8 found a body with diving equipment. Though authorities believed it was Auletta, dental records were needed to make a positive identification. That was made Thursday, said Sgt. Greg Tita, spokesman for the Pinellas Sheriff's Office.

    Mother accused of neglect after girl left alone

    LARGO -- The bus dropped the 8-year-old girl off at home on Tuesday afternoon. But the door to her house was locked and she had no key. Her mother was gone, according to police. It began to rain, so neighbors took her inside and called police. The girl's mother, Demaris Serrano, 25, was arrested on a charge of child neglect, according to reports. Serrano told officers she had been in Tampa. The Department of Children and Families has taken the child into custody, Officer Thomas Recla said. He said a similar incident occurred Feb. 19 in which the child came home to a locked door.

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