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Employees find young woman's body as they open pool at Glazer Jewish community center

The victim appeared to have drowned, but the cause of death remains under investigation, Tampa police said. Police had not identified her.
Police said employees found a body Sunday morning in the 25-yard competition pool, background, at the Glazer JCC’s Mezrah Family Aquatic Center.
Police said employees found a body Sunday morning in the 25-yard competition pool, background, at the Glazer JCC’s Mezrah Family Aquatic Center.
Published Feb. 17, 2019

TAMPA — Employees at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC arrived to work early Sunday to find the body of a young woman in a pool. Authorities are investigating.

It began as a normal Sunday morning at the community center, 522 N Howard Ave. A few dozen members filtered in to begin their early-morning workouts. Staffers at the complex's Mezrah Family Aquatic Center started their routine, which includes readying the aquatic center's pools for guests.

At about 7 a.m., when employees lifted the tarp that covers the center's 25-yard competitive pool, they discovered the body.

They immediately called Tampa Police, who spent the morning investigating the scene, Tampa police Lt. Ricardo Ubinas said.

The body showed "no obvious signs of foul play," Ubinas said.

The victim appears to have drowned accidentally, but the death remains under investigation, police said.

Police said they had not learned her identity yet.

If she sneaked in from outside, she would have had to cross two fences that surround the aquatic center to reach the pool, said Heidi Shimberg, executive director of Tampa's JCCs.

The employees who discovered the body were sent home and the JCC is offering them counseling if they need it, Shimberg said. The aquatic center was closed until further notice.

"We're just a community trying to support one another," Shimberg said. "Our heart goes out to this woman's family."

The aquatic center has three pools and is part of a complex that also features event venues, a gym, a cafe and offices.

The aquatic center closes at 6 p.m. Saturdays and the community center at 7 p.m., according to its website.

The Bryan Glazer Family JCC was created from renovations and additions to the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory and opened in December 2016.

Contact Kirby Wilson at kwilson@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8793. Follow @kirbywtweets.