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Bodies found in bay, in woods

ST. PETERSBURG — Police on Sunday were investigating the discovery of two bodies that were found about a mile apart in north St. Petersburg.

Police said the deaths do not appear to be related.

About 10:30 a.m., a fisherman alerted St. Petersburg police that a body was floating in Tampa Bay near an approach to the Howard Frankland Bridge at Interstate 275 and Fourth Street N.

About four hours later, some children found a full set of skeletal remains in a wooded area north of Gandy Boulevard behind the Sienna Bay Apartments, 10501 Third Street N. The area is a transient camp, police said.

The person found in the water was identified by police as 32-year-old Jason Michael Downey of Tampa.

Downey was last seen with friends at Georgie's Alibi at 3100 Third Ave. N on Thursday night. He left the bar about 2 a.m. Friday but never arrived home. He was reported missing Saturday when he failed to show up for work. Police notified Downey's family about his death after identifying him through his driver's license, which was found with him.

The green 1998 Toyota RAV4 he was driving has not been located, police said. There were no obvious signs of trauma to Downey's body, according to authorities.

The human remains found about a mile to the south were clad in black pants and a dark T-shirt. A pair of black tennis shoes were found nearby. Police found a wallet with a man's identification with the clothing, but will not release a name until the person's identity can be confirmed.

The remains showed no signs of trauma and there were no indications of violence at the scene, said Detective Karl Sauer.

Autopsies will be performed.

Rita Farlow can be reached at (727) 445-4162 or

Bodies found in bay, in woods 09/21/08 [Last modified: Monday, September 22, 2008 11:24am]
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