TAMPA — One bit of the mystery surrounding the human bones found along Interstate 75 has been solved: The body was that of a female.
After a day of scouring the site, about a mile north of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, detectives recovered a complete human skeleton, including a skull.
The Hillsborough County medical examiner and a University of South Florida anthropology professor will reconstruct the skeleton. They say it could take months to determine the age, race, identity, cause of death and time of death.
A blueberry farmer who stopped along the highway when his vehicle overheated discovered the bones Tuesday afternoon.
Dan Ebbecke, 52, of Hernando County was on the phone with an agent from AAA when his fellow farmer and friend Junior Penavler noticed a pair of sneakers with a leg bone sticking out.
The bones were partially covered with brush and debris, hidden from the more than 30,000 people who drive that stretch each day.
"Call police," Ebbecke said he told the AAA operator. "I think there's a body here."
Ebbecke said he didn't see a skull, but authorities say a complete skeleton was later discovered.