ST. PETERSBURG — A Yellow Cab driver was found slain next to Azalea Middle School Saturday morning, police say.
The victim, a woman in her late 30s, was found before 8 a.m. by a neighbor walking near the school at 7855 22nd Ave. N.
The victim's name was not released because police were still trying to reach her family.
She was found on a one-lane road between the school and the Science Center, a nonprofit school, authorities said.
Her cab was later found abandoned in South Pasadena. Police say the victim picked up a fare after 5 a.m. Saturday.
"That's shocking," said Cindy Roberts, 53, who grew up in the neighborhood and went to Azalea Middle. "We've never had any trouble."
Police spokesman Bill Proffitt said would not say how the woman died, but a preliminary investigation does not suggest her death is linked to recent cab driver robberies.
He said the motive was still a mystery.
Yellow Cab drivers are independent contractors, according to the business' Web site. A dispatcher there said, "we're not to give out any information" when reached by phone.
They asked anyone who saw suspicious activity involving a Yellow Cab in the western part of St. Petersburg around that time to contact police at (727) 893-7780 or anonymously at (727) 892-5000.