ST. PETERSBURG — A possible lag in communication between authorities may have slowed the response to a suicide attempt on the Sunshine Skyway early Friday morning.
Or someone chose an odd place to dump a stolen car.
Florida Highway Patrol responded to a disabled beige four-door Ford parked on the bridge around 4 a.m. and had it towed away around 6 a.m. after learning that it had been reported stolen, according to spokesman Sgt. Larry Kraus. The keys were still inside.
FHP notified St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue at 7:20 a.m., which began a search with the Coast Guard and Eckerd College, according to Fire and Rescue spokesman Lt. Joel Granata.
Rescuers were baffled: there was no evidence of a vehicle or a suicide attempt on the roadway or traffic cameras.
A search of the rocks and waters beneath the bridge yielded nothing. FHP has no suspects in the theft of the vehicle and no other indication that anyone used it to facilitate a suicide attempt. It's unclear why FHP waited three hours to notify rescuers.