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Deputies want help identifying body found in Hillsborough River

TAMPA — Deputies have lots of details about the woman's body two canoeists found in the Hillsborough River on Sunday.

They believe she was 5 feet 2, white and between 19 and 30 years old. She had dark hair, possibly shoulder length, with highlights. She had a pierced belly button, a gap in her front teeth and a surgery scar on her left leg. She had a tattoo of what appears to be a nautical compass on her upper chest.

But deputies still don't have a name.

"Please call us," said Col. Albert Frost. "We do not have the body identified. … Somebody in Hillsborough County has to know who she is."

Deputies have checked missing person reports in Hillsborough and neighboring counties with no luck. A missing person report recently helped Tampa police identify the body of Lisa Ann Mowrey, who was discovered along Interstate 75 this month. With a name, police were able to use dental records to confirm her identity.

In this case, investigators haven't started working with dental records because they don't know whose records to check.

Investigators are also going through their offender database, Frost said. Often, deputies will note tattoos of people arrested in the county when they're booked.

Deputies do not yet know a cause of death — that could take the Medical Examiner's Office days to determine. And it's difficult to tell if there's been trauma to the body because it has been in water, Frost said.

Deputies also don't know how or where the body ended up in the river.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8000

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3433.

Deputies want help identifying body found in Hillsborough River 03/29/10 [Last modified: Monday, March 29, 2010 11:28pm]
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