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Friend shares memories of woman who lost her life at Sarasota beach

ABC7 News at 11pm
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 10:05 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Friends of a 24-year-old woman who was swept away while swimming at South Lido Beach Saturday are grieving the loss of their loved one.

ABC7 spoke to a longtime friend of Everliz Valentina Medina Vega, who’s sharing her heartbreak.

A day at the beach suddenly turned tragic, leaving family and friends mourning the loss of their loved one.

Sarasota Police say she went swimming with a friend Saturday night at South Lido Key Beach. Her friend returned to the shore to find Medina was missing and called for law enforcement to help. After a daylong search, Valentina’s body was found near Longboat Key.

“Valentina and I clicked instantly,” at grade school in Venezuela, Maria Oroño told ABC7 with the help of a translator. “Since day one, when we met at a mutual friend’s house. I always had a great time with her, and we never separated since then.”

Oroño said she was heartbroken when she got the call letting her know her friend had drowned. At first, she couldn’t believe her longtime friend was suddenly gone after knowing her for so many years.

They eventually moved to the United States together. Through the years, proved herself to be a wonderful friend. Oroño describes her as kind to those around her and headstrong in her ways.

“She was a free spirit, anybody could’ve told you that,” Oroño said. “There was no one that could tell her no because if she wanted to accomplish something, she would do it.”

Maria says it’s been hard to truly understand her friend’s passing, especially because she was so young.

Oroño told ABC7 she doesn’t know how she’ll move on, but it will surely take time to come to terms with this loss.

“What I’m going to miss most is hearing her voice and her calls when she would tell me about her day,” she said. “She’s not going to be there anymore; she’s not going to call me. That’s what I am going to miss the most.”

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