Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Public safety

St. Petersburg police: Man's death, hit-and-run crash not related

ST. PETERSBURG — Concerned, Jeremy Mayers' family called police Sunday afternoon. It had been a while since they'd seen the 20-year-old, who worked at a supermarket.

"His family was worried about him because he hadn't returned home," police spokesman Mike Puetz said.

Officers had tragic news. Earlier that day, investigators found a man's body in the front yard of a house in the Coquina Key area.

That man was Mayers.

On Monday, police were trying to unravel the mystery. His death was classified as "suspicious."

Mayers lived at 921 64th Ave. S. But he was found at 3632 Sea Robin Drive SE, a little more than 3 miles away.

"We don't know how he got there," Puetz said. "We don't know why he was there."

Even stranger was how his body was discovered.

Police were called to the Coquina Key neighborhood because of the hit-and-run crash of a pair of joyriding juveniles.

Police said that about 5 a.m., a speeding 14-year-old driver failed to make a turn on Sunfish Drive.

In the car with him was a 12-year-old passenger. The pair, police said, had taken the car from a sister.

But the young driver lost control of the car and struck a utility pole.

The car kept sliding and came to rest in the yard of 3621 Sunfish Drive SE.

The kids fled, but officers say they know who they are.

As officers investigated the crash scene, however, they found Mayers in the front yard of a home around the corner. He was declared dead at Bayfront Medical Center about an hour later.

At first, it was unclear whether the incidents were connected. Police on Monday said they were not.

Preliminary autopsy results did not reveal signs of violent trauma or injury to Mayers' 5-foot-5, 270-pound frame that would be consistent with an auto accident, police said.

Puetz said investigators have been interviewing those who knew Mayers to try to figure out what happened.

His family declined comment Monday.

Anyone with information on the incident was asked to call the St. Petersburg Police Department.

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