Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man's body found in flooded Largo canal

LARGO — As the floodwaters of Tropical Storm Debby began to recede Wednesday, a man's body was discovered floating in a swollen canal just north of the Pinellas Safe Harbor homeless shelter.

Pedestrians spotted the body in the Cross Bayou Canal and called authorities at 7:40 a.m., according to Largo Police Lt. Mike Loux. It was found near a bridge on 150th Avenue, just off 49th Street N.

The cause of death has yet to be determined, and police continue to investigate. A preliminary examination of the body did not suggest foul play. There were "no obvious signs of a struggle," Loux said.

Police did not know whether the man's death was related to the three days of heavy storms the region has endured.

Two confirmed deaths have so far been attributed to Debby: A 32-year-old Highlands County woman was killed by a tornado, and a man drowned after his canoe capsized on Lake Dorr, in Ocala National Forest.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office also responded Wednesday morning to a call about a floating body in New Port Richey.

In Largo, the man found in the canal was carrying an identification issued by Safe Harbor, the shelter by the county jail that houses homeless, low-level offenders. The shelter sits next to the canal, just south of where the body was discovered.

Police were not releasing the man's name pending notification of his next of kin.

Wednesday morning, about a half-dozen officials from the Largo Police Department and Medical Examiner's Office gathered on the bank of the canal, wrapping the body in a white shroud. It was lifted onto a gurney and driven from the scene.

The water was black, swollen and sluggish. It appeared to have risen well above its normal level, with trees on either side engulfed up to their boughs.

Angie Stone, who lives down the road, leaned on her fence watching the scene. She said flooding from Debby had been a problem in the neighborhood, with water rising into her daughter's bedroom.

"It was bad," she said. "I've been in Florida since 2001. That storm we had Sunday was the worst one I've seen yet."

Stone said she often sees transients from Safe Harbor walking up and down her road. It's said in the neighborhood that they sometimes congregate under the bridge.

"They'd be walking up and down here and they'd be coming through the cut sometimes," she said.

Her daughter was beside her, looking up the road toward the canal. "He was probably trying to go home, Mama," she said.

Peter Jamison can be reached at or (727) 445-4157.

Man's body found in flooded Largo canal 06/27/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 1:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida Insiders: The state parties are dying; 'I heard someone long for the leadership of Jim Greer'


    For all the attention on Florida Democratic Chairman Stephen Bittel's bone headed gaffe this week, the diminished state of the once mighty Florida GOP today compared to even a few years ago is arguably more striking than the condition of the long-suffering Florida Democratic Party. A decade ago, no one would have …

    Florida Insider Poll
  2. Florida Democrats surging with grassroots enthusiasm, but 2018 reality is grim

    State Roundup

    After Donald Trump's election, so many people started showing up at monthly Pinellas County Democratic Party meetings, the group had to start forking out more money for a bigger room.

    Former Vice President Joe Biden addresses Florida Democrats at the Leadership Blue Gala on June 17 in Hollywood, Fla. (Photo by Carol Porter)
  3. Will new laws protect condo owners from apartment conversions and rogue associations?

    Real Estate

    Danny Di Nicolantonio has lived in St. Petersburg's Calais Village Condominums for 33 years. Annoyed at times by the actions, or inaction, of the condo board and property managers, he has complained to the state agency that is supposed to investigate.

    That has left him even more annoyed.

    A bill passed by the Florida Legislature would affect places like The Slade in Tampa's Channelside district, where cCondominium owners have battled a plan to convert homes into apartments.
[Times file photo]
  4. Walmart opens first Pinellas County in-house training academy


    Seminole — It had all the hallmarks of a typical graduation: robe-clad graduates marching in to Pomp and Circumstance, friends and family packed together under a sweltering tent and a lineup of speakers encouraging the graduates to take charge of their future.

    New Walmart Academy graduates are congratulated Thursday morning by associates during a graduation ceremony at the Walmart store, 10237 Bay Pines Boulevard, St. Petersburg. The Walmart location is one of the company's training academies where managers complete a one week retail course. David Shultz and Richard Sheehan, both from St. Petersburg, get high fives from the crowd.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  5. Four questions with Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith before he helps lead the St. Pete Pride parade

    Human Interest

    A decade ago, Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith was afraid to tell his friends and family he was gay.

    Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith will serve as a grand marshal at the St. Pete Pride parade on Saturday. [City of Largo]