Well, this case just took a sick turn…
About a week and a half ago, fishermen in Tampa found human body parts in McKay Bay. Ever since then, police have been trying to untie this horrifying knot. Through a tattoo on the leg, investigators were able to identify the partial remains as Stephanie Crone-Overholts, a mother who was reported missing in her hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania on November 11, the same day the parts were discovered.
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Since then we’ve learned she had recently moved to Florida and, according to an older gentleman who took her in, was living in her car. That good Samaritan told WFLA on Monday that he and his daughter had met Stephanie at a McDonald’s and offered her a place to stay at his home in Lutz (about 15 miles north of Tampa) after learning she was unhoused. However, he said, she didn’t end up staying long due to her personal problems causing him to ask her to leave:
“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, who wished to remain anonymous at the time, told reporters police had already spoken to him and had even gotten a warrant to search his van:
“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.”
Well, we guess they found some evidence after all. Because on Wednesday, the Tampa Police Department charged that man, now identified as Robert Kessler (above) with her murder. Specifically, Kessler is facing charges of second-degree murder and abuse of a dead body — for allegedly dismembering her and dumping the pieces in McKay Bay — as well as a drug charge he was already in custody for. The 69-year-old has apparently faced various drug-related charges before.
Crone-Overholts’ cause of death has not yet been determined — something that may be tricky due to how her body was treated post-mortem — but the medical examiner did say for certain this was a homicide. And now they believe they’ve found their man.
According to Tampa Police Interim Chief Ruben Delgado, the victim’s blood was found on a pair of shoes at Kessler’s home. Delgado also claimed what Kessler said about asking the 47-year-old to leave was “not factual.”
We’ll have to wait until more details emerge in this horror show of a case. See Delgado’s full press conference (below):
[Image via WFLA/YouTube.]