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Deputies: Man who dumped brother's body in trash was afraid of blame

SEMINOLE — Neighbors of the tidy Harbor Lights Mobile Home Park were shaken by the gruesome discovery in their community dump.

It was Thursday afternoon. "A woman looking shaken came to the door," said Janet Grossman, who lives near the Dumpsters. "She said, 'Come tell me if this looks like a dead body to you.' "

The body, wrapped in plastic and found under a mattress next to the Dumpsters, was that of 53-year-old David Boutwell, deputies discovered through fingerprints. That quickly led them to the home he shared with his brother, 52-year-old Ricky Boutwell, at another mobile home park about 2 miles away.

Detectives said Ricky Boutwell admitted wrapping his brother's body with large black garbage bags and packing tape and taking it to the other mobile home park's dump.

He did it, he said, because he was afraid he would be blamed for his brother's death.

Boutwell said he and his brother had been drinking Monday and began "fighting over statements made by a female friend" and came to blows, deputies said.

By Tuesday, Boutwell told detectives, his brother seemed fine and the two watched TV most of the day. On Wednesday, Boutwell discovered that his brother was dead.

Deputies said Boutwell wrapped up his brother's body and intentionally concealed it to hide it from authorities.

David Boutwell's body did not appear to have any signs of trauma, and he had health problems. An autopsy was conducted, but lab and toxicology tests were still pending.

Ricky Boutwell was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of failure to report a death to the medical examiner. He was being held on $150 bail Friday at the Pinellas County Jail.

Neighbors of the Boutwells said they didn't know the brothers well. Ricky Boutwell moved in about three months ago, and his brother moved in with him about a month ago.

"I never heard any fighting," said neighbor Richard Ward, 43. "He (Ricky Boutwell) had a dog that snapped at everyone that came near it, so I don't think that really built a good rapport with people."

State records show that Ricky Boutwell, a registered sex offender after a conviction for a 1999 assault on a child, moved often. He was released from prison in 2003 after serving four years for the conviction, and before that had been arrested on burglary and drug charges.

David Boutwell also had various arrests in Florida, including drug possession and child abuse.

Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Emily Nipps can be reached at nipps@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8452.

Deputies: Man who dumped brother's body in trash was afraid of blame 12/30/11 [Last modified: Friday, December 30, 2011 8:31pm]
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