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Search over for missing restaurateur who fell into Tampa Bay

6:27 PM, Jan 29, 2004   |    comments
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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- An extensive search of Tampa Bay for the body of the Bonefish Grill founder has been called off, though officials said they will remain on the lookout during routine patrols. The announcement from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission came Wednesday after specially trained dogs spent the day looking for 37-year-old Chris Parker, presumed to have drowned Sunday when his 36-foot Spectre racing boat flipped after hitting a wave. Since the accident, Tampa police, the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office, Tampa Fire Rescue, the Coast Guard and Pinellas County Sheriff's Office have assisted Fish and Wildlife in the search. "We grieve with the family, and that's why all the agencies have made the effort they have," said Gary Morse, a Fish and Wildlife spokesman. "But on normal patrols ... we'll just be on the lookout. We're not doing anything extra like we've been doing in the past few days." Also Wednesday, Tampa General Hospital officials said Chris Sears, 29, one of two passengers in the boat with Parker, remained there in good condition. The other passenger, 27-year-old Jodi Forca, was released by Monday. Parker and Tim Curci opened the first Bonefish Grill in St. Petersburg in 2000. By the next year the partners sold a 50 percent stake to Outback Steakhouses Inc., and there are now more than 30 restaurants in 10 states.

Associated Press

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