Saturday, November 18, 2017
Public safety

Bloody truck found in Palm Harbor may be linked to body in Pasco

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The murder of a man whose body was found on the side of a Pasco County street earlier this month may have some connection to Palm Harbor in Pinellas County.

No arrests have been made yet in the death of Eric Crenshaw earlier this month. But a Pinellas County sheriff's search warrant, obtained by the Times Thursday, sketches the last hours of the man's life:

Twice during the afternoon of Sept. 7, Crenshaw, 39, talked to his mother, Wanda Reed, and girlfriend, Norma Taylor. Crenshaw, who lived in Holiday just north of the Pinellas-Pasco line, told them he was going for a drive in a white Dodge pickup truck with his childhood friend, Anthony "Banks" Stephens.

He last talked to Taylor at 8:15 p.m. An hour and a half later, he was found dead on the side of Baillies Bluff Road in southwest Pasco County, his lower back riddled with bullet holes.

Around the same time, authorities found a white truck on County Road 90 in Palm Harbor. It was abandoned and burning. The keys were still in the ignition.

When detectives later obtained a warrant to examine the truck, they found bullet holes through the front passenger seat and a plastic bag full of blood. A 9 mm bullet casing and a blood-spattered Sean John shirt were found in the cab.

The truck was registered to Anthony Stephens Tree Trimming.

Detectives interviewed Stephens, 38, of Clearwater, the day after Crenshaw's body was found.

He told them he and Crenshaw had been driving in the truck that afternoon when the truck had "mechanical problems" about 5 p.m., so they switched to a different vehicle, the report states.

Stephens told them he dropped off his friend in Pasco County at 8 p.m. The report says Stephens denied knowledge of the killing.

Stephens has not been charged with anything. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office said his whereabouts are known, but they declined to comment on whether he is considered a suspect in Crenshaw's death.

The investigation is ongoing.

Alex Orlando can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6247.

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