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  1. Pinellas

Overdose suspected after two found dead on Boca Ciega boat

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Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates.
Published Jun. 27, 2019

Click here to read this story in Spanish.

GULFPORT — The tip came in on June 2: Two dead bodies could be found on a boat docked at Boca Ciega Bay.

This is what investigators found aboard the Get Reel: Raymond Nevels, the operator of the boat, lying on his back. There was blood around him, but it was unclear where it came from. Nearby, Erika Cisewski was also found dead.

So far, investigators believe the two overdosed, said Gulfport Sgt. Thomas Woodman.

When detectives first obtained a search warrant to examine the boat on June 3, they wrote that it was for a "possible double homicide." But that is no longer the case, and there were no signs of foul play.

But the investigation is still active. Detectives are waiting for toxicology reports to come back and for the medical examiner to determine an official cause of death. There are also other leads to follow up on.

"The double homicide angle is not really being approached," Woodman said. "But it can't be closed out until the investigation is completed."

One lead investigators are looking into is a third person who was apparently with the other two when they died, the warrant said. Two witnesses said Anthony "Tony" Thompson, 46, told them there were "dead people on a boat in Gulfport" and that he took their car and phone, according to the warrant.

One of those witnesses told police that he saw Thompson with his girlfriend and Nevels at the docks on the night of May 30. Thompson showed up late the next day. He said that he had made a mistake and "they're dead."

When asked what he meant, Thompson said the group was using drugs and passed out. When he came to, he said his girlfriend and Nevels were dead near the bow of the boat.

The witness said he noticed smeared blood on Thompson's leg.

He also noticed Thompson had picked up some new items: his girlfriend's purse and Nevels' cell phone. He was also driving Nevels' car, the witness told detectives.

Another witness told police they saw Thompson with blood on his clothes — though this could have been because he was involved in a fight on Madeira Beach, the warrant said.

Prosecutors sometimes charge people for their involvement in overdose cases. But Woodman could not say if that would be pursued in this case.

Thompson was arrested on June 3 — the day the search warrant was served on the boat — on a charges of giving false information to a law enforcement officer during an investigation. He was being held late Wednesday in the Pinellas County jail in lieu of $1,500 bail. Jail records list him as a transient.

Contact Kavitha Surana at ksurana@tampabay.com or 727-893-8149. Follow @ksurana6.

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