NEW PORT RICHEY — A neighbor on his morning walk saw something strange and went inside a nearby restaurant to tell someone.
"Carol, there's a gentleman out there," he said to a waitress about 7:30 a.m. Friday.
He believed the man to be dead.
"You're kidding," said Carol Herchenroder, 68, a server at Putter's Bar & Grill at River Ridge Golf & Country Club, in an interview with Bay News 9, a coverage partner with the St. Petersburg Times.
The neighbor continued on his walk. Herchenroder stepped outside to investigate.
The body was near a blue portable toilet, close to the country club's entrance at DeCubellis Road and Tee Time Circle.
"Looks like he's dead," she thought.
The man was white, but his arms and legs were black, as though they had been burned, she noted. She called 911.
A dispatcher asked if she wanted to do CPR.
"I don't think we need to," she said.
Authorities say the man — whose identity was not released Friday, pending next of kin identification — appeared to be in his 40s. Kevin Doll, spokesman for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, called the death "suspicious" but added that doesn't mean foul play was involved. He said the investigation is ongoing and the cause of death will be determined by a medical examiner.
"I felt so bad," Herchenroder said. "It's Thanksgiving and this guy is dead."