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On the island in Florida, where two socialites drowned after their Mercedes was rolled off a ferry

On Florida’s ritzy Fisher Island, a millionaire’s paradise where peacocks spin and golf is the favorite game, a tragedy rarely happens.

But on February 18 it did that.

Friends Emma Afra, 63, and Viviane Brahms drowned as their Mercedes Benz rolled off the ferry sailing from the exclusive harbor to the mainland, found their bodies clenched as divers searched for them.

It is difficult to understand how the incident took place. Ferries make the 7-minute journey thousands of times a month, constantly commuting guests and residents of the richest zip code in the United States.

But while the yachts moored in the marina would look like they even had a stain, several ferries on the island display inappropriate rust spots and the only thing that separates vehicles from the edge of the boat is a dust barricade.

It was such a barrier that did nothing to stop the older woman’s vehicle as it rolled through the useless gate and plunged into the water and eventually killed the old friends.

Friends Emma Afra, 63, (left) and Viviane Brahms (right) drowned as their Mercedes Benz rolled off the ferry that sails from the exclusive port of Fisher Island, Florida to the mainland, found their bodies clenched when divers searched for them

Friends Emma Afra, 63, (left) and Viviane Brahms (right) drowned as their Mercedes Benz rolled off the ferry that sails from the exclusive port of Fisher Island, Florida to the mainland, found their bodies clenched when divers searched for them

The only thing that separates vehicles from the edge of the boat is a fabric barricade (photo). And it was such a barrier that did nothing to stop the woman's vehicle when it rolled through the useless gate and plunged into the water and eventually killed the old friends

The only thing that separates vehicles from the edge of the boat is a fabric barricade (photo). And it was such a barrier that did nothing to stop the woman's vehicle when it rolled through the useless gate and plunged into the water and eventually killed the old friends

The only thing that separates vehicles from the edge of the boat is a fabric barricade (photo). And it was such a barrier that did nothing to stop the woman’s vehicle when it rolled through the useless gate and plunged into the water and eventually killed the old friends

It is difficult to understand how the incident took place. Ferries make the 7-minute journey thousands of times a month, every time guests and residents of the richest zip code of the United States commute back and forth

It is difficult to understand how the incident took place. Ferries make the 7-minute journey thousands of times a month, every time guests and residents of the richest zip code of the United States commute back and forth

It is difficult to understand how the incident took place. Ferries make the 7-minute journey thousands of times a month, every time guests and residents of the richest zip code of the United States commute back and forth

With house prices ranging from $ 2 million to $ 40 million, some residents pay a whopping $ 100,000 a year for the amenities, including the ferry, a fire station, a school, a library, a food market, four restaurants, and a theater

With house prices ranging from $ 2 million to $ 40 million, some residents pay a whopping $ 100,000 a year for the amenities, including the ferry, a fire station, a school, a library, a food market, four restaurants, and a theater

With house prices ranging from $ 2 million to $ 40 million, some residents pay a whopping $ 100,000 a year for the amenities, including the ferry, a fire station, a school, a library, a food market, four restaurants, and a theater

Afra, an old Miami resident who is known as a volunteer for charities for children, was behind the wheel of her friend’s Mercedes Benz, while Brahms, the wife of the retired owner of the Manhattan nightclub and former prisoner Maurice Brahms, drove with a gun.

Their car dropped quickly to the bottom of the channel, about 50 feet below the surface.

The speculation is that the women hurried to the back seat while the car was full of water from the front. That is where their bodies would be found by divers.

Several government agencies, including the Coast Guard and the Miami Beach Police, are still investigating and have yet to release their findings.

But they have told local media that they work under the assumption that the car has slipped into gear and has pressed Afra on the accelerator pedal instead of the brake.

The investigation went wild at the weekend when Brahms’ 80-year-old husband filed an emergency order against the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner’s office to prevent Viviane’s autopsy, citing religious grounds.

“There can be no doubt that Viviane Brahms died drowning after the vehicle fell into the water,” read Maurice’s petition. ‘For more than 50 years the plaintiff (Maurice) and his wife have maintained a traditional Jewish home and traditional Jewish values, including the strong belief in funeral under Jewish law.

“Jewish law prohibits the desecration of the body and an autopsy is considered desecration.”

Fisher Island is a millionaires paradise, with an average household earning about $ 2.5 million a year. The large yachts docked in the marina would simply not look like they belong if they had a rubbish on the hull or deck

Fisher Island is a millionaires paradise, with an average household earning about $ 2.5 million a year. The large yachts docked in the marina would simply not look like they belong if they had a rubbish on the hull or deck

Fisher Island is a millionaires paradise, with an average household earning about $ 2.5 million a year. The large yachts docked in the marina would simply not look like they belong if they had a rubbish on the hull or deck

The dozens of peacocks milling around the original estate of the 220-hectare island, built in the 1920s by yachtsman William K. Vanderbilt II, look a bit shinier than anywhere else

The dozens of peacocks milling around the original estate of the 220-hectare island, built in the 1920s by yachtsman William K. Vanderbilt II, look a bit shinier than anywhere else

The dozens of peacocks that mill around the original estate of the 220-hectare island, built in the 1920s by yachtsman William K. Vanderbilt II, look a bit shinier than anywhere else

It was known that Afra and Brahms often visited the island's beach club for leisurely lunches just a few steps from the water's edge. Pictured: the beach of the Fisher Island Beach Club on the Bay of Biscayne

It was known that Afra and Brahms often visited the island's beach club for leisurely lunches just a few steps from the water's edge. Pictured: the beach of the Fisher Island Beach Club on the Bay of Biscayne

It was known that Afra and Brahms often visited the island’s beach club for leisurely lunches just a few steps from the water’s edge. Pictured: the beach of the Fisher Island Beach Club on the Bay of Biscayne

According to figures from the latest census, Fisher Island has clustered around 400 low-rise apartments and built a handful of single-family homes along the island's coastline. The center of the island is occupied by the golf course

According to figures from the latest census, Fisher Island has clustered around 400 low-rise apartments and built a handful of single-family homes along the island's coastline. The center of the island is occupied by the golf course

According to figures from the latest census, Fisher Island has clustered around 400 low-rise apartments and built a handful of single-family homes along the island’s coastline. The center of the island is occupied by the golf course

A ferry ride from Fisher Island to mainland Miami takes only around 11 minutes

A ferry ride from Fisher Island to mainland Miami takes only around 11 minutes

A ferry ride from Fisher Island to mainland Miami takes only around 11 minutes

On February 21, three days after the accident, a Miami-Dade County circuit court took the side of Brahms and ordered the Medical Examiner office not to perform an autopsy.

The court allowed the office to take blood samples and fluid from her eyes, as long as the unused blood and fluid would be returned to the body.

Brahms’ corpse was handed over to her family and a service was held in Manhattan on Sunday.

Medical researcher Dr. Emma Lew told DailyMail.com: “We always want the maximum amount of information that is possible for optimal research to arrive at the most likely cause and method of death. This makes the case “harder to resolve” because we lack information from the autopsy. ”

The victims, DailyMail.com has learned, had no ownership on Fisher Island.

They got access because they visited residents.

Afra, a worker at the Fisher Island Beach Club explained, often visited her friend Howard Weissman, 77, a retired businessman from St. Louis, Missouri, who built a successful dance and stage costume.

Weissman opened the door of his $ 3.7 million apartment with stunning ocean views on Saturday but said he didn’t want to be interviewed about his girlfriend’s death.

Other islanders said that Afra had just passed the death of her husband’s suicide in 2016, businessman Siavash ‘Sia’ Afra.

Islanders said that Afra had just died about the suicide mortality of her husband, businessman Siavash 'Sia' Afra (photo on the photo in February 2016), who died in 2016

Islanders said that Afra had just died about the suicide mortality of her husband, businessman Siavash 'Sia' Afra (photo on the photo in February 2016), who died in 2016

Islanders said that Afra had just died about the suicide mortality of her husband, businessman Siavash ‘Sia’ Afra (photo on the photo in February 2016), who died in 2016

Howard Weissman

Howard Weissman

Afra often visited her friend Howard Weissman, 77, (left and right) a retired businessman from St. Louis, Missouri, who built a successful empire for dance and stage costumes. “She was just starting to love life again,” said a resident. “She had a hard time for a number of years, but she was very excited about her prospect of a life with Howard.”

“She was just starting to love life again,” said a resident. “She had a hard time for a number of years, but she was very excited about her prospect of a life with Howard.”

Afra seems to have no family anymore and her legacy and funeral arrangements are cared for by another friend, former WPLG-Channel 10-star anchor woman Laurie Jennings.

Brahms, meanwhile, came to the island to visit her former stepson, New York’s private jet manager, Todd Rome.

It was known that Afra and Brahms often visited the island’s beach club for leisurely lunches just a few steps from the water’s edge.

A beach club employee who asked not to be mentioned said if they were one of the 600 full-time residents or visitors staying at the Fisher Island Club Hotel at $ 1,800 per night, both parties are looking for the same things.

“They are looking for a chic environment and, more importantly, privacy,” the employee said. “No one who is not registered can board the ferry. It is like a gated community, except that it is even more remote and safer.

“There is craziness going on in Miami and Miami Beach, and the elevated road is completely silent. But on the other side of the channel, Fisher Island is untouched and untouched by the frenzy. “

Afra (left) seems to have no family anymore and her legacy and funeral arrangements are cared for by another friend, former WPLG-Channel 10-star anchor woman Laurie Jennings. Brahms (right) meanwhile came to the island to visit her former stepson, Todd Rome, a private jet company in New York

Afra (left) seems to have no family anymore and her legacy and funeral arrangements are cared for by another friend, former WPLG-Channel 10-star anchor woman Laurie Jennings. Brahms (right) meanwhile came to the island to visit her former stepson, Todd Rome, a private jet company in New York

Afra (left) seems to have no family anymore and her legacy and funeral arrangements are cared for by another friend, former WPLG-Channel 10-star anchor woman Laurie Jennings. Brahms (right) meanwhile came to the island to visit her former stepson, Todd Rome, a private jet company in New York

Pictured: brick-sized blocks are placed around the front wheels of the vehicles closest to the bow and stern

Pictured: brick-sized blocks are placed around the front wheels of the vehicles closest to the bow and stern

Pictured: brick-sized blocks are placed around the front wheels of the vehicles closest to the bow and stern

The Fisher Island ferries use fabric gates to close the bow and stern during their short sails between the mainland and the island dock. The fence on the Pelican ferry did not prevent the Mercedes from sailing away from the ship and into the water

The Fisher Island ferries use fabric gates to close the bow and stern during their short sails between the mainland and the island dock. The fence on the Pelican ferry did not prevent the Mercedes from sailing away from the ship and into the water

The Fisher Island ferries use fabric gates to close the bow and stern during their short sails between the mainland and the island dock. The fence on the Pelican ferry did not prevent the Mercedes from sailing away from the ship and into the water

Fisher Island is so safe that most residents do not lock the doors of their apartments or their cars.

“Everyone drives a golf cart without even removing the key while it is parked,” the employee said. “Someone is stealing a golf cart and there is nowhere to go. You cannot board a ferry with a golf cart. “

According to figures from the latest census, Fisher Island has clustered around 800 low-rise apartments and built a handful of single-family homes along the island’s coastline.

The center of the island is occupied by the golf course.

With house prices ranging from $ 2 million to $ 40 million, some residents pay a whopping $ 100,000 a year for the amenities, including the ferry, a fire station, a school, a library, a food market, four restaurants, and a theater.

The island itself is also a microcosm of South Florida, with a high percentage of wealthy South Americans, Russians, Orthodox Jews and Anglos.

And there are some small celebrities who call it home, including retired tennis players Andre Agassi and Boris Becker, Cagney & Lacey actress Sharon Gless, billionaire Syntel founder Bharat Desai and Victoria’s Secret supermodel Karolina Kurkova.

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