Make us your home page
Instagram

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

Loading...
  1. Mother of double amputee Ireland Nugent to lose her own lower right leg

    Human Interest

    Ever since Ireland Nugent lost both her lower legs in a lawn-mowing accident five years ago, the Clearwater girl has inspired her mother, Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, with the courage she has shown in overcoming the tragedy.

    Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, left, looked on as her daughter Ireland threw out the first pitch when the Tampa Bay Rays played the Houston Astros at Tropicana Field on June 22, 2014. Jerry Nugent held his daughter for the pitch. Now Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent is facing surgery to amputate her own lower right leg due to a rare infection. WILL VRAGOVIC  |  Times (2014)
  2. Chris Archer knocked out early as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Another short outing by Chris Archer led to another long afternoon for the Rays in a 9-4 loss to the Orioles on Sunday.

    Chris Archer has not gotten past four innings in four of his past five starts. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
  3. Bucs-Vikings report card: Where's this explosive offense we heard about all offseason?

    Bucs

    O NO

    True, the Bucs defense looked pretty leaky in the 34-17 loss to the Vikings. But you know what needs to happen when the defense is getting torched? The offense needs to step up. In games such as these, with defensive players seemingly getting hurt every play, the offense needs to outscore the other …

    Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) intercepts a Jameis Winston pass intended for wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Bucs-Vikings: Instant analysis from Tampa Bay's 34-17 loss

    Bucs

    MINNEAPOLIS — Here's Rick Stroud and Tom Jones' instant analysis from the Bucs' 34-17 loss at Minnesota Sunday. More to come from Rick & Tom — and Greg Auman —- from Minneapolis later today.

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright (17) dives over the pylon for a touchdown as  Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith (29) defends. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Worst-Case scenario: Case Keenum, Vikings hand Bucs 34-17 loss

    Bucs

    MINNEAPOLIS — With key defensive starters out with injury, the Bucs were dominated by the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, with fill-in quarterback Case Keenum beating Tampa Bay for the third year in a row, …

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]