Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Investigators put a name to bones found off Sligh Avenue in December

TAMPA — Authorities have identified a set of human bones that was found scattered in the woods Dec. 22 near Sligh Avenue and Rowlett Park Drive.

A DNA test last month confirmed the bones were those of 54-year-old Stephen Craig Snipes, according to a report from the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner. Snipes, who lived in an assisted living facility on Nebraska Avenue, had been missing for several months.

A Tampa police investigation into Snipes' death remains open.

A homeless man came across the bones just after noon Dec. 22 and called 911. Tampa police officers arrived and found what appeared to be human leg and arm bones, along with a pelvis, spine, and a human skull, according to the medical examiner's report.

Forensic investigators worked with an anthropology team from the University of South Florida to turn up 103 human bones in all, police said, about half of a full adult skeleton.

In late January, Snipes' mother, Yvonne Parker, called the medical examiner's office to inquire about her missing son, the report said. Certain physical similarities were noted between Snipes and the unidentified skeleton. DNA from the bones was compared with a sample of Snipes' DNA, which was in a national database due to a prior arrest.

In February, the results revealed a match.

Detectives noted a decayed yellow rope on a tree near where the bones were found. But since investigators did not find a full skeleton, the cause of death may never be known.

"Right now, it's undetermined until there is a final ruling from the medical examiner," said Tampa police Detective Eric Houston. "Sometimes without certain bones, they just can't make the determination."

Investigators put a name to bones found off Sligh Avenue in December 03/14/14 [Last modified: Friday, March 14, 2014 11:57am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tributes pour in for ex-national security adviser Brzezinski


    WASHINGTON — Well before he went to the White House in 1977, Jimmy Carter was impressed by the views of foreign policy expert Zbigniew Brzezinski. That Carter immediately liked the Polish-born academic advising his campaign was a plus.

    Foreign policy expert Zbigniew Brzezinski died Friday.
  2. One year after deaths, Sunset Music Festival kicks off with emphasis on water and security

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Before the beat drops, or even builds, you hear Steve-O.

    "If you don't get water you're lame!"

    "Hey! Free water! Come on!"

    Steve "Steve-O" Raymond motions to guests making the line to grab free water bottle at the entrance of the Sunset Music Festival on the grounds of the Raymond James Stadium parking lot in Tampa. ( LUIS SANTANA   |   Times)
  3. Twins eventually cash in as Rays lose, fall back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays could only battle their way out of trouble for so long Saturday afternoon before succumbing in a 5-2 loss to the Twins.

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 27: Brian Dozier #2 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates hitting a two-run home run as Derek Norris #33 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on during the eighth inning of the game on May 27, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rays 5-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) 700010973
  4. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  5. Fans in Florida and beyond won't forget Gregg Allman

    Music & Concerts

    The end can come quickly for those who live fast and live hard, who create worlds with their talent and sometimes come close to throwing them away.

    This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo shows Gregg Allman performs at the Americana Music Association awards show in Nashville, Tenn. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, a publicist said the musician, the singer for The Allman Brothers Band, has died. (AP Photo/Joe Howell, File)