UPDATE: The search for a missing Broward County firefighter comes to a sad end.
The decomposed body of James Von Minden was found yesterday in Palm Beach County after an apparent suicide.
The 55-year-old had been missing since Friday after he crashed his truck in Jupiter Farms while off duty.
His wife says she’s heartbroken and devastated with the outcome, but she takes comfort knowing he was loved by so many, especially his son.
We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Jim Vonminden. We sincerely thank the community for all their help in our search efforts. pic.twitter.com/I7IiwLtA2K
— Broward, IAFF L4321 (@iaff4321) June 23, 2020
Von Minden would have celebrated 30 years with the department later this week.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is investigating but was waiting for an autopsy before officially identifying the body.
Police said the manner of death is believed to be suicide.
A Broward County firefighter paramedic is missing following a truck vs. tree crash in Jupiter Farms on Friday.
Investigators say James Vonminden was last seen around 5:30 p.m. on Friday, disoriented, in the area of Randolph Siding Road and Alexander Run in Jupiter Farms.
Vonminden is 5’11”, 210 lbs. with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a black t-shirt, dark colored shorts and sandals.
Members of Local 4321 Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Rescue say Vonminden is a firefighter and paramedic with Broward County Sheriff’s Office Fire Rescue. Union members say he was in a single-vehicle car crash near his Jupiter Farms home before he went missing. Union members are asking anyone willing to help with the search to contact union member Brendan Quilter at 754-264-2307.
Union president Jason Smith says there are two search sites, one by the crash site and another by Vonminden’s home. Smith says there were more than 200 volunteers searching for V0nminden on Sunday, and that the search did not start until 24 hours after Vonminden went missing.
“Jimmy is just a strong man. He has a gentle spirit just about him, his demeanor is very soft,” said Jason Smith, president of Local 4321 Broward Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Union. “He has a young son who I know he is very proud of.”
Smith says hope is fading with every passing moment that Vonminden will be found safe.
“I’m overwhelmed. I’m saddened. I’m nervous. I look at each one of the members who work for the organization, they elected and chose me to be their voice and when I speak to his wife and I ask how the son is doing and today is Father’s Day and we still don’t have Jim in safety, I can’t even explain the words,” said Smith. “I take my oath and my responsibility very serious and I almost feel like when I didn’t find him today when I was out there like I failed, I failed the mission and I failed the objective and it’s hard.
“His son has just been very quiet. I know he went out yesterday with his family and his cousins looking for his father and today I can tell you he’s very melancholy and is very quiet.””
Anyone with information about Vonminden’s whereabouts is urged to contact PBSO Dispatch at 561- 688-3400 or their nearest law enforcement agency.