Thursday, June 21, 2018
Public safety

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."

Comments
Suspect arrested in rapper XXXTentacion’s shooting death

Suspect arrested in rapper XXXTentacion’s shooting death

FORT LAUDERDALE — Authorities in Florida have arrested a suspect in the killing of rising rap star XXXTentacion, who was fatally shot in his luxury BMW electric car as he left an upscale motorcycle dealership.Dedrick Devonshay Williams, 22, of Pompan...
Updated: 5 hours ago
St. Pete police: Three lieutenants lied about their work hours

St. Pete police: Three lieutenants lied about their work hours

ST. PETERSBURG — Three lieutenants responsible for supervising the police officers who patrol the city were found to have been faking their work hours instead of showing up for duty on time.In some cases, the watch commanders submitted time sheets st...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Deputies: Cheerleading coach sent explicit images to 16-year-old

A 28-year-old cheerleading coach faces charges for engaging in "inappropriate behavior" with a 16-year-old girl, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Victor Martin Valenty faces 10 counts of traveling to meet a minor, distributing ob...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Deputies: Zephyrhills bank robbed, suspect flees on bicycle

Deputies: Zephyrhills bank robbed, suspect flees on bicycle

A Suntrust Bank in Zephyr-hills was robbed early Thursday afternoon, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.At 12:50 p.m., deputies said, the man walked into the bank at 34511 State Road 54 and presented a note demanding money, though he did ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Man found dead in Hillsborough Bay had a big fan in the cat world

Man found dead in Hillsborough Bay had a big fan in the cat world

TAMPA — To his friends and neighbors at Tampa Baptist Manor, Norman Lester Porterfield was the man who fed and spoiled Lucky, the scruffy stray calico cat in the back yard. To his friends and coworkers at the Salvation Army, he was a great athlete, a...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Weeki Wachee man arrested after search warrant turns up drugs, thousands of vape cartridges

Weeki Wachee man arrested after search warrant turns up drugs, thousands of vape cartridges

A Weeki Wachee man faces drug charges after deputies said a search of his home Wednesday turned up nearly three pounds of marijuana, more than three pounds of hashish wax and more than 3,000 hashish oil cartridges for vape pens.Devin Alexander Volkes...
Published: 06/21/18

Pasco deputies safely locate missing Holiday autistic teen

An autistic boy, who went missing after walking out of his Holiday home on Wednesday night, has been safely located.Jordan Webb, 16, left his home around 11 p.m., according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.He was safely located on Thursday mornin...
Published: 06/21/18
Pastor took out an active shooter and expertly treated the wounded, all after delivering his Sunday sermon

Pastor took out an active shooter and expertly treated the wounded, all after delivering his Sunday sermon

On Sunday morning, David George, pastor of the Oakville, Washington, Assembly of God Church, delivered his sermon as he does every Sunday. The subject, on Father’s Day, was "The Value of MENtoring," about how much difference an individual can make in...
Published: 06/21/18
Brandon man held on $750,000 bail, accused of 100 counts of child pornography

Brandon man held on $750,000 bail, accused of 100 counts of child pornography

A Brandon man has been charged with 100 counts of possession of child pornography after deputies discovered more than 100 images of child pornography on his computer, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Troi Amacher, 29, was arreste...
Published: 06/21/18
Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

LARGO — Vanessa Rodriguez thought she found the right house for her three kids, in the right neighborhood, for the right rent. She signed the lease for April 30, sent a $2,300 money order and planned to move in June 1.Then the delays started. She sai...
Published: 06/20/18
Updated: 06/21/18