Hiker discovers decomposed body in Riverview's Triple Creek Nature Preserve

Published July 13, 2017

Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies are working to identify a decomposed body discovered in a Riverview preserve Wednesday morning.

A hiker discovered the body just before 10 a.m. in a heavily wooded area of the Triple Creek Nature Preserve at 13305, Balm Boyette Road, the Sheriff's Office said.

Neither the gender nor the approximate age of the body has been released. The body was located a short distance from a hiking trail about 1 mile from Balm Boyette Road, said Sheriff's Office spokesman Larry McKinnon.

The identity and cause of death won't be known until the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office can conduct it's own investigation, he said.

Until the cause of death is known, sheriff's detectives are considering the case a suspicious death, McKinnon said.

There was little evidence surrounding the body, and with few homes or development around the 971-acre preserve, it's impossible yet to say how long the body has gone unnoticed in the dense vegetation, McKinnon said.

Triple Creek Preserve is a combination of prairies, woodlands and swampy wetlands and joins the nearly 6,000 acre Balm-Boyette Scrub Nature Preserve on its northern boundary.

The land holds more than 20 miles of bike and hiking trails maintained by volunteers and is intersected by three tributaries to the Alafia River — Bell Creek, Boggy Creek and Fish Hawk Creek, according to the county's website.