A group of spearfishermen made a horrifying discovery when they recently found a trash bag while they were out spearfishing off Florida’s gulf coast. According to witnesses, when the spearfishermen went to another dive spot, located 13 miles off the coast of Egmont Key at the mouth of Tampa Bay, they found the bag. When they tried picking up the bag, they soon realized it wasn’t trash.
After cutting the plastic bag open, they made the grim discovery. Inside they found the corpse wearing either a bra strap or a bikini. Immediately, they called the authorities.
Now, investigators have identified the deceased woman. According to reports, she’s identified as 34-year-old Heather Rose Strickland.
Local spearfishermen make a gruesome discovery
Strickland, who was also known as Cherry Rose Strickland, was last seen on Dec. 5 leaving a hospital. At this time, authorities are unsure why she was in the hospital or if any of her friends and family were looking for her.
Then, less than a week later, the spearfishermen made the discovery. The FBI has since taken over the investigation. Now, they’re saying her death is “suspicious.” They’re currently waiting on her toxicology report to determine the cause of death.
According to the federal agency, Strickland was living in the Clearwater-St. Petersburg area for the last few years. She was a native of North Florida.
Authorities have also scoured her social media pages. They found that the mother posted a string of photos of her children on her Facebook throughout the years.
On March 2021, a post shows her pictured with her arm’s around an unidentified man. In the caption, she wrote, “It’s funny how people sit and talk bad to others on FB but that’s ok I’m a great mom and love myself as well that’s all that matters.”
FBI seeks the public’s help in the mysterious death of Florida woman
Strickland was 5-foot-5 and had two tattoos: one on the right side of her neck of the letters ‘B’ and ‘E’. The second tattoo was a rose located on the outside of her right thigh.
Both the Coast Guard and the St. Petersburg Police Department were at the area to recover her body, who at that point remained unidentified.
At the time, Capt. Dylan Hubbard was at a nearby marina when his crew heard the call coming from the vessel trying to reach the U.S. Coast Guard after making the discovery.
According to Hubbard, he and his team called the vessel but were shocked when they got their message.
“They’re on a small boat, it’s up close and personal, you don’t forget that picture,” he said about the group’s finding. However, he hopes the finding will give the woman’s family some form of closure.
Now, the FBI is asking anyone with information about the woman’s death to contact FBI Tampa Field Office at 813-253-1000 or send a tip to tips.fbi.gov.