If you aren’t already following this case, strap in because it starts out shocking and disturbing and just has not let up yet.
It began over a week ago when a couple anglers fishing in the McKay Bay in Tampa, Florida caught not fish but human body parts. Due to the bay’s proximity to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, where Brian Laundrie‘s partial human remains were found, many online immediately jumped to the conclusion this was, well, more of the famous fugitive.
That was refuted pretty immediately by the reveal of a tattoo on a dismembered leg, of little hearts with the names Sean, Greg, and Zach.
(c) Tampa Police Department
The victim was eventually revealed to be a woman named Stephanie Crone-Overholts, who had moved to Florida from Erie, Pennsylvania. It was back home where she was reported missing on November 11, the same day parts of her were being fished out of the water.
So what happened between her leaving PA and being buried not quite at sea?
That’s what investigators are trying to put together now, and a big piece of the puzzle is finding out where she lived. A man who she stayed with briefly is offering a big clue. The man, who for the moment is choosing to remain anonymous, spoke to WFLA on Monday about his interactions with the late 47-year-old.
He says he met Stephanie for the first time in a McDonald’s parking lot, where a short conversation about their shared hometown of Erie led to her moving in. The man said:
“I met her on Fletcher at McDonald’s. Me and my little girl met her and she had a Pennsylvania plate and was in her car, and it was obvious to see that she was homeless and stayed in her car, and she explained to me that her ankles swell up because she slept in her car.”
She was unhoused? We know she had family back in Pennsylvania. Why was she living in her car in Tampa??
The good Samaritan says he offered the down-on-her-luck woman a room in his home:
“I just invited her to stay because I have three bedrooms and two baths, and she was from Erie, Pennsylvania, and I had worked for the City of Erie one time 40 years ago.”
She moved into his house in Lutz, an unincorporated area about 15 miles north of Tampa. Everything went fine at first, but the man says his family noticed pretty quickly that she was having personal problems that made them uncomfortable:
“She didn’t spend much time at the house. She would be gone all night sometimes, but she always acted normal and she was always real good and meticulous about cleaning the house up for me. We talked about Erie and the mall is gone and yada, yada and that was it and I told her she would have to leave, and a day or two later, she left.”
The man may be unknown to the public, but he assured the news outlet that authorities are well aware of his story and that he’s cooperated fully with them:
“They got a search warrant and they took my van, and they’re not going to find anything. There is no evidence in there. There is evidence that she had been in here probably, but that’s it.”
We’ll keep you up to date as more details in this shocking case come in.
[Image via WFLA/YouTube.]