Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Foul play ruled out in Hernando berry picker's death

WEEKI WACHEE — An autopsy conducted Sunday by the Hernando County Medical Examiner's Office has ruled out foul play as a possible cause of death for an unidentified Hispanic man found dead Saturday inside the Chassahowitzka Management Area.

According to a Hernando County Sheriff's Office report, the man, whose identity has not yet been confirmed, was part of a crew from Immokalee that was picking saw palmetto berries in an area west of U.S. 19 just south of the Citrus County line when his co-workers discovered him missing around 7 p.m. Saturday.

Hernando County deputies and Florida fish and wildlife officers searching with all-terrain vehicles found the man's body around 10 p.m. Saturday. Authorities said the man was working by himself in an area known to be populated with rattlesnakes, wasps and yellowjacket nests.

September is a prime month for those who earn money from picking saw palmetto berries, which are sold to herbal medicine companies that use them to make, among other things, treatments for prostate ailments.

The Sheriff's Office said it is working with the Immokalee Coalition for Migrant Workers in Collier County to identify the man. A full autopsy is pending while awaiting toxicology tests.

Foul play ruled out in Hernando berry picker's death 09/13/10 [Last modified: Monday, September 13, 2010 9:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Have your say Tampa Bay on the region's future transit options

    Mass Transit

    TAMPA — It's time, yet again, for Tampa Bay residents to tell officials what kind of transit options they want for their region.

    The Cross-Bay Ferry docks at the Tampa Convention Center on its maiden voyage on Nov. 1, 2016. A regional premium transit study will determine whether a ferry, or other options such as express buses or light rail, would be a good addition to Tampa Bay. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]
  2. Today, a total eclipse of the sun will span the entire United States, crossing from the West Coast to the East Coast, for the first time in 99 years. (Dreamstime/TNS)
  3. What is poke? Here's how to make the Hawaiian dish at home


    In Hawaiian, "poke" simply means "to cut."

    Tuna Poke Bowl: For a classic poke bowl, try this recipe with ahi (yellowfin) and only a few other ingredients.
  4. MOSI, SPC, libraries offer safe solar eclipse viewing Monday


    If you couldn't score some of the hard-to-find eyewear that will let you watch Monday's solar eclipse, have no fear, there are safe viewing choices across the Tampa Bay area.

    Twin Falls High School science teachers Ashley Moretti, left, and Candace Wright, right, use their eclipse shades to look at the sun as they pose for a portrait at Twin Falls High School in Twin Falls, Idaho. The district bought 11,000 pairs of solar glasses, enough for every student and staff member to view the solar eclipse Aug. 21

(Pat Sutphin/The Times-News via AP)
  5. SOCom seeks civilian drone pilots to develop new technology through ThunderDrone


    TAMPA — For the last three years, Nicole Abbett has been using drones as part of her photography business, with clients like the city of Tampa and construction companies.

    Josh Newby, 31, Palm Harbor, of Tampa Drones fly's a drone in England Brothers park, Pinellas Park, 8/25/16. As drone popularity increases as a hobby and business, local governments are navigating a legal grey area- where, when, and how should drone flights be allowed?