Essi Puhakka Came From Finland on a Work Visa and Wound Up Dead in Biscayne Bay

Last Friday, Miami Beach police responded to a call about a young woman's unresponsive body floating in Biscayne Bay by the seawall behind Mount Sinai Hospital. A boater who spotted the body tried to perform CPR to no avail. The woman was taken to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

Originally reported as a teenage body, the woman has now been identified as 27-year-old Essi Puhakka, a resident of Finland who had been in Miami for a few months on a work visa. Police still aren't sure how she wound up in Biscayne Bay.

According to Puhakka's social media trail, she's a 2011 graduate of the Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences. She officially received her work visa in October and arrived in Miami a few weeks later.

Her Instagram account paints a picture of a woman who spent her free time in Miami tanning on the beach, brunching with friends, finishing craft projects, attending Miami Heat and Florida Panthers games, and touring the Everglades.

iiiik! It is official now! #essigoesamerica

A photo posted by Essi Emilia (@essiemppuli) on

Absent are any photos of visits to clubs or late-night partying.

A photo posted by Essi Emilia (@essiemppuli) on

A photo posted by Essi Emilia (@essiemppuli) on

Though police have now identified Puhakka after confirming her death to her family, they have released few other details about her death. It's still a mystery how the Finnish woman ended up in the bay and no cause of death has been released so far.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >