Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Authorities identify body found in Tarpon Springs as missing Homosassa man

TARPON SPRINGS — A Homosassa man found dead Friday was known to his friends and fellow coin collectors as a nomad. Among flea marketers, it's a term that means in the search for rare coins, he followed the most valuable pieces.

Billy Shuler was an active member of the West Hernando Coin Club, club president Guy Ventre said Tuesday, the day Pasco sheriff's investigators identified a body found during the weekend in Tarpon Springs as that of the 69-year-old Shuler.

Hernando County coin collector John Zieman said he knew Shuler for five years. Lately, he would come every Wednesday to a flea market where Zieman peddles his wares. He said they'd laugh and talk coins.

The last time Zieman saw him was a week ago. Shuler stopped by the flea market, but Zieman didn't get the chance to talk to him.

"He was a great guy," Zieman said. "He'd give you the shirt off his back."

Shuler's good nature and generosity were why Zieman said he was shocked someone would harm his friend.

Shuler's body was found in a wooded area south of B21 Liquors, 43380 U.S. 19 in Tarpon Springs, according to the Pasco Sheriff's Office. Investigators confirmed the identity through fingerprints.

Deputies are still looking for Shuler's business partner with whom he had planned to meet.

On May 21, Shuler, of 19 Hemlock Court in Homosassa, told his wife he was going to Holiday to meet with Anthony Maresca, 51. They had worked together selling at area flea markets, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said.

Shuler never returned, and his wife reported him missing the next day.

Investigators later discovered his truck parked outside a storage unit at 5334 Provost Drive in Holiday. They said they found evidence in the truck to suggest foul play.

They are still searching for Maresca, of 1726 Tumbleweed St. in Holiday.

Zieman said he felt terrible when he learned of Shuler's death, but he felt worse for Shuler's wife, Esther.

Esther Shuler and the couple's youngest son, Dan Shuler, met with reporters Friday afternoon and pleaded for Billy Shuler's return. Mrs. Shuler recalled celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary last year.

During one of their Wednesday meetings, Zieman said he asked Shuler how he managed 50 years of marriage.

"I asked him 'What's it like being married 50 years?' " Zieman said. "He told me 'When you find the right person, it's not that hard.' "

Anyone with any information about the whereabouts of Maresca or this case can call Tampa Bay Crime Stoppers, toll-free, at 1-800-873-8477.

Authorities identify body found in Tarpon Springs as missing Homosassa man 05/27/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 10:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Jason Aldean fires up a country-dude party at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

    Blogs

    Country music has a dude problem.

    I’m not talking about the proliferation of mindless bro country over the past half-decade, nor am I referring to the fact that most of Nashville’s best music these days comes not from said bros, from female singers and songwriters.

    Jason Aldean performed at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Aug. 18, 2018.
  2. President Trump offers prayers for Kissimmee police

    Blogs

    President Donald Trump reacted to the police shooting in Kissimmee:

  3. Kissimmee police officer dies, one gravely wounded; Jacksonville officers shot

    News

    KISSIMMEE — A Kissimmee police officer died and a second was gravely wounded Friday night, police Chief Jeff O'Dell said.

    Two police officers have been shot and killed in Kissimmee, authorities say. The shooting happened in the area of Palmway and Cypress around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. Photo courtesy of WESH.com
  4. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  5. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming

    Roads

    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]