Mystery shrouds severed leg found in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Police continued a search for clues Wednesday in a mystery that began Tuesday morning when Canadian tourists found a severed human leg behind a waterfront home.

The leg washed ashore near the Bay Vista Recreation Center. Police believe it was in the water for a day or two. They believe it was a right leg that may have belonged to an overweight white female who was dismembered.

Two marine units on Wednesday searched waters from Tierra Verde to the Tropical Shores area, said St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz.

Officers did not find any other body parts, he said.

St. Petersburg investigators also have asked other departments — the sheriff's offices in Hillsborough and Manatee counties and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Convention — to keep an eye on the shores in case other body parts wash up.

"They acknowledged that they would do that," Puetz said. "It's a pretty big ocean and it's very, very difficult to spot a body unto itself, let alone body parts."

Puetz also said police investigated a tip Wednesday from a person who reported seeing an item that resembled a foot floating off St. Pete Beach.

The person didn't call police right away, however, and when authorities arrived, nothing was there.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call police at (727) 893-7780. Anonymous tipsters can call (727) 892-5000 or text police at (727) 420-8911.

Mystery shrouds severed leg found in St. Petersburg 12/28/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 10:55pm]

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