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Body of woman found on shore near Gandy Bridge

ST. PETERSBURG — A woman's body was found on the beach near the Gandy Bridge Thursday morning.

A passer-by found the body of Pamela Sue Simon, 51, about 7 a.m. in a small inlet near a group of mangroves at 13090 Gandy Blvd., Pinellas sheriff's officials said.

Detectives were trying to determine Simon's cause of death, but an initial investigation found no sign of foul play.

Simon's body was taken to the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy. Authorities believe her death might have been the related to alcohol or drug use or an unspecified medical condition, officials said.

Simon, who lived most recently in a St. Petersburg mobile home park, made headlines in 2007 when she was charged with stabbing her husband to death in Largo.

On June 23 of that year, Simon called 911 to report a domestic disturbance. She told dispatchers that she had argued with her husband, Robert Penders, 50, in the home they shared off Ridge Road. She said she was worried Penders was going to hurt her.

When police arrived, they found Simon standing on the front lawn covered in blood, according to reports. Penders was inside bleeding from a stab wound to his neck. He later died.

Simon was charged with second-degree murder, but later pled guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and served about three years in prison.

She was released in 2011 and was on probation at the time of her death.

Times staff writer Meredith Rutland contributed to this report.

Body of woman found on shore near Gandy Bridge 02/21/13 [Last modified: Thursday, February 21, 2013 11:19pm]
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