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Report of body is mystery to police

Published Oct. 8, 2005

It's not a Halloween story, but it could be. Manatee sheriff's deputies are trying to unravel the mystery of the State Road 37 body.

About 6:30 a.m. Friday a motorist on SR 37 saw two trucks pulled over near Duette, just south of the Polk County line. As he looked to the east side of the road, he saw two men apparently pulling a third man from a ditch.

The man noticed some debris in the highway but didn't think a car accident had occurred. He called the Manatee Sheriff's Office and reported what he saw. Deputies searched the area but found no sign of the trucks, the body or an accident.

Friday afternoon, the witness, whose name is being withheld by the Sheriff's Office, offered to lead deputies to the area where he said he saw the two trucks, the men and the body.

When they arrived, the deputies saw blood stains and a pool of blood about 20 feet from the road's shoulder, a report said. They also noticed skid marks on the road. They sent samples of the blood to the Sheriff's Office chemist, who on Sunday reported the blood to be human.

Deputies searched for a body all day Sunday. They checked with local hospitals but found no answers.

Detectives are asking that anyone with information about an accident Friday morning on SR 37 call Detective Alex Ribachuk at (813) 747-3011, ext. 2251.