Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Missing 86-year-old Largo woman drowned

BELLEAIR — Mary Zelter, the 86-year-old woman who vanished last week and was found Monday night, died in an accidental drowning, the Medical Examiner's Office said Wednesday.

Zelter was found floating in the Intracoastal Waterway near a Clearwater boat ramp late Monday. Her submerged car was pulled from about 6 feet of water Tuesday morning.

While police have said there is no outward sign of criminal activity, Clearwater police spokeswoman Elizabeth Daly-Watts said it was too early to make a final conclusion. Police are still waiting for toxicology reports and for her car to dry out enough for it to be examined.

Zelter's daughter, Mary Lallucci, spoke briefly to reporters Wednesday morning in the driveway of her Belleair home.

She thanked police, the public and the media for helping in the search for her mother, who did not return Feb. 26 after signing out of her assisted living facility.

"The human kindness that has come forward is amazing," said Lallucci, 54, who works as senior vice president of client services for the Tampa office of Right Management, a career management and human resource consulting firm.

It is still a mystery to the family why Zelter disappeared. Lalluci said police believed that her mother drove into the water on the same day she vanished. She had no cell phone at the time; she usually went on short trips.

But a week ago Tuesday she drove to an Albertsons in Largo and bought $30 worth of merchandise, but she never returned to the facility.

Her body was recovered about 10 miles away.

Lallucci said the family will continue to call for the creation of a so-called Silver Alert system in Florida that would help locate missing and endangered older adults.

"We have no way yet of knowing whether it would have helped my mom," Lallucci said. "But there's no question that in a state with as many senior citizens as ours, the ability to rapidly alert law enforcement and citizens of a missing senior is essential."

Missing 86-year-old Largo woman drowned 03/05/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:27am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Delta Sigma Theta honors outgoing national president

    Human Interest

    During her four years as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Paulette Walker said she always focused on the comma between "Sorority" and "Inc."

    Paulette Walker, the former director of undergraduate programs and internship in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, will be honored on Saturday for her leadership in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
  2. 10 sailors missing, 5 hurt in collision of USS John S. McCain

    SEOUL —Ten U.S. Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the USS John S. McCain destroyer collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday morning.

    In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo provided by U.S. Navy, the USS John S. McCain patrols in the South China Sea while supporting security efforts in the region. The guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship on Monday, Aug. 21, in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. Ten sailors were missing, and five were injured, the Navy said. [James Vazquez/U.S. Navy via AP]
  3. Pasco County Fire Rescue fighting a two-alarm fire started by an explosion

    Fire

    Two houses are on fire and one victim has been critically burned and taken to a trauma center following an explosion at a home at 8652 Velvet Dr, in Port Richey.

  4. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  5. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.