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Skeleton found among mangroves believed to be missing St. Petersburg man

ST. PETERSBURG — Authorities have tentatively identified the human remains found in a patch of mangroves near Big Bayou on Friday.

They believe the skeleton is that of Thomas S. Schafer, 54, of St. Petersburg.

Schafer disappeared from an adult group home several months ago, St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz said Monday.

"So far, we haven't seen anything that suggests violence to the body," Puetz said. "We're still investigating."

The Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office was called in to identify the body after fisherman Deno Crawford discovered it Friday afternoon near 36th Avenue S and Sixth Street.

Homicide detectives were not immediately able to determine age, gender or anything regarding the circumstances of how the body ended up there.

Puetz said a pair of shorts on the skeleton held a clue. Inside a pocket was a wallet that contained some cash and an ID card.

Schafer's last known address was at the Edna Stephens Home at 620 32nd Ave. S, Puetz said.

He disappeared from there in late January, Puetz said, and was reported missing Jan. 24.

Edna Stephens is a group home that treats and houses men with mental health disabilities.

Skeleton found among mangroves believed to be missing St. Petersburg man 08/27/12 [Last modified: Monday, August 27, 2012 9:55pm]
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