Burnt body near Skyway Bridge was missing security guard, Hillsborough deputies say

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TAMPA — The body found Wednesday night at a rest area near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge was a missing person from the Tampa area, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies identified the body as a woman in her 30s who worked as a security guard at the Beach Walk Condominiums located at 4349 Bayside Village Drive in Town ‘N’ Country. The Sheriff’s Office linked the body to an ongoing missing person’s case. She was last seen or heard from on Wednesday, according to Crystal Clark, a spokeswoman at the Sheriff’s Office.

“The people who live at that apartment complex are the eyes and ears for the sheriff’s office,” Clark said.

The woman’s vehicle was found at the condo complex and the Sheriff’s Office is investigating the case as a homicide. Deputies have identified a person of interest, but no arrests have been made, Clark said during a Thursday afternoon press conference.

A missing person’s report was filed with deputies around 7 p.m. Wednesday by a relative. The body was discovered just after 8 p.m. after St. Petersburg police assisted fire rescue officials with putting out a grass fire in a wooded area near the rest stop. The Sunshine Skyway Bridge, and the area around it, is technically under Hillsborough County jurisdiction.

A cause for the fire was not released Wednesday night by police.

“Our detectives have identified a person of interest and are working to piece together this heinous crime,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister in a statement. “We are urging anyone who may have seen something suspicious, to please come forward. The more details we have, the faster we can make an arrest.”