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Skeleton gives clues of man's suicide

The skeleton found in a vacant lot south of the Pinellas-Pasco county line Wednesday belonged to a male who apparently committed suicide, officials said Thursday.

Police said they found a small-caliber handgun near the remains, which were discovered Wednesday afternoon.

Medical examiners have determined that the remains are that of a male, said Bill Pellan, director of investigations for the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office.

Forensic evidence indicates that the man took his own life with a single gunshot to the head, according to a statement released Thursday by Tarpon Springs police spokesman Sgt. Jeff Young.

Young said Tarpon Springs police were still waiting for further information from the Medical Examiner's Office regarding the age, sex and race of the body.

The police are also still awaiting information on how long the body had been there.

A land survey crew discovered the skeleton about 1 p.m. Wednesday in a wooded area just west of U.S. 19 between the Brittany Park subdivision and the Tarpon Springs Driving Range.

The survey crew was preparing the site for a townhome construction project.

Investigators from Tarpon Springs police, the State Attorney's Office and the Pinellas County Forensics Unit spent the afternoon combing the scene for clues.

Young said police detectives were continuing their investigation Thursday.

Catherine E. Shoichet can be reached at or (727) 771-4307.