Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Name of dead man found floating near Mahaffey Theater released

ST. PETERSBURG — Police have released the name of the man whose body was found Thursday evening floating in the water across the street from the Mahaffey Theater.

George Lee Babec, 72, lived at the MLF Towers senior housing complex in downtown St. Petersburg.

Police are waiting for a report from the Medical Examiner's Office about the cause of death, but say there are no indications of foul play.

A passer-by saw Babec's body about 5:15 p.m. near the 300 block of Bayshore Drive SE and called authorities. Police spokesman Mike Puetz said he did not appear to have been in the water for long. He was wearing a jogging-type outfit and had identification on him.

"Nobody saw him go in the water," Puetz said.

Police have not been able to locate any relatives

Babec had lived at MLF Towers, at 540 Second Ave. S, for nine years, said property manager Barbara Jarboe.

Jarboe said he liked to exercise and often took walks. She described him as a "nice man."

"Everyone here was surprised," she said. "He will be missed."

Records show Babec served about a year in federal prison in the early 1990s for fraud against businesses, people and banks in multiple states. Authorities said he and his wife at the time were involved in identity theft, according to published reports in the Orlando Sentinel.

Anyone who might have known the man is asked to contact investigator Brenda Stevenson at (727) 893-4207.

Name of dead man found floating near Mahaffey Theater released 02/01/13 [Last modified: Friday, February 1, 2013 10:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Encounters: Trial by storm for a rookie principal


    DUNEDIN — When he nodded off to sleep, the hallway lights outside Michael Vasallo's office were on, so the sudden darkness woke him.

    The glow of his desk phone dimmed.

    Michael Vasallo, right, the first-year principal at Dunedin Highland Middle School, talks with the school's head plant operator Clint Case near the back-up generator on campus. The generator failed just as Hurricane Irma passed through Pinellas County, making for a stressful night. The experience made Vasallo long to return to his regular job, educating middle schoolers. [COLEEN WRIGHT   |   Times]

  2. Who is in charge during a hurricane? Hillsborough County and Tampa still can't agree


    TAMPA — Who has the authority to order an evacuation during a hurricane?

    Mayor Bob Buckhorn says he has evacuation authority.
  3. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31


    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  4. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win


    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  5. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.