A human fetus was found Thursday in a filter at the Siesta Key sewage treatment plant, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Department said. Officials had not determined the age of the fetus and did not know whether a crime had been committed.
"We want to make an appeal to anyone that may be able to help us identify the source of this fetus so that we may, from a humanitarian standpoint, provide for a proper burial," sheriff's spokesman Lt. Bill Stookey said.
Stookey said a criminal investigation was possible depending on the age of the fetus and cause of death.
Treatment plant workers found the white female fetus in a screen that filters large objects, Stookey said. The county treatment plant is fed by 36 lift stations throughout Siesta Key, an exclusive island of condominiums and houses southwest of Sarasota.
The fetus was found at 12:10 p.m., Stookey said. The screen had last been checked at 10:30 a.m.
Anyone with information is asked to call 366-TIPS or contact Detective Petra Cunningham or Sgt. William Sullivan at 951-5062 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
_ KAREN DATKO
Drug cache found
during traffic stop
BRADENTON _ Two Florida Highway Patrol troopers stopped a van for going 75 mph in a 65-mph zone Thursday and found 100 kilograms of cocaine in a hidden floor compartment.
The arrest was the largest to date for the troopers, who are on one of 35 drug-interdiction teams operating statewide, authorities said. The cocaine is worth an estimated $2.4-million.
Troopers Doug Dodson and Ricky Wells pulled over the van on southbound Interstate 75 near the U.S. 301 exit at 12:30 p.m.
Driver Edmund L. Gonzalez, 33, agreed to a search of the van. When Wells brought drug dog Dallas toward the vehicle, he "alerted," signaling that he smelled drugs, authorities said.