A Florida woman’s bikini-clad body was found in a garbage bag in the ocean
The mystery woman, whose bikini-clad body was found in a garbage bag by a group of spearfishers off Florida’s Gulf Coast, has been identified as 34-year-old Heather Rose Strickland.
Strickland’s body was found floating in bedding and a plastic garbage bag around 12:40 p.m. Saturday 13 miles off the coast of Egmont Key at the mouth of Tampa Bay.
A group of spear fishermen made the gruesome discovery after cutting open the bag and seeing the red-haired, green-eyed girl’s body. However, all the fisherman could tell was that it was a human corpse with some sort of bra strap or bikini strap attached.
Strickland, who also went by the name Cherry Rose Strickland, was last seen on December 5 leaving HCA Florida Largo Hospital on 14th Street Southwest. It’s not clear why she was in the hospital or if any of her loved ones were looking for her.
Her body was found five days later.
The body of Heather Rose Strickland was found floating in bedding and a plastic garbage bag around 12:40 p.m. Saturday 13 miles off the coast of Egmont Key at the mouth of Tampa Bay
Strickland attended Cape Coral High School and is pictured here in September 2015
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which has taken over the investigation since the body was found in federal waters, is now describing her death as “suspicious,” WFLA News reported.
It’s not clear how Strickland’s remains ended up in the ocean, but authorities are awaiting the toxicology report to determine her cause of death.
Originally from North Florida, she lived in Clearwater-St. Petersburg in recent years, the FBI said.
Strickland, who was also a mother, posted a selection of photos of her children to her Facebook page over the years. In a December 7, 2012 post, she is shown holding a picture of her newborn with a man named Peter Cruz.
In March 2021, she is pictured with her arm around an unidentified man in a post, which read: “It’s funny how people badmouth others on fb but that’s ok I’m a great mom and loving Me too, that’s all that matters. ‘
On February 17, Strickland is shown in a sultry pose in what appeared to be her last post before news of her death.
Strickland was about 5ft 5in tall and had two tattoos: one on the right side of her neck with the letters ‘B’ and ‘E’ written in Old English script. The second tattoo is a rose on the outside of her right thigh.
A map showing the exact location where Strickland was found
On February 17, Strickland posted this image, which would be her last photo before her death
This Facebook post was an earlier photo of Strickland, taken on July 27, 2016
A March 2021 photo of Strickland showing her with an unidentified male (not pictured). In the post, she wrote: “It’s funny how people speak badly to others on FB but that’s ok I’m a great mom and love me too that’s all that matters.”
Red-haired Strickland is seen next to a car in a picture taken on February 16
The Coast Guard and St. Petersburg Police were on scene to recover the body of the woman, who at the time was a Jane Doe.
Captain Dylan Hubbard was at a nearby marina when his crew heard the distress call from the ship trying to contact the US Coast Guard after finding the body.
Hubbard said they called the ship when they heard the call but did not expect the captain’s reply.
“He said, ‘See that plastic garbage bag in front of our boat? That’s a corpse,” Hubbard recalled being told by the captain.
“You’re on a small boat, it’s very close and personal, you don’t forget the picture,” he said of the body’s discovery.
But Hubbard added that he hopes this incident will at least bring closure to the person’s family.
The FBI said the 34-year-old was originally from North Florida before spending the past five years here in the Tampa Bay area.
The FBI is asking anyone with information regarding her death to contact the FBI Tampa Field Office at 813-253-1000 or send a tip to tips.fbi.gov.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11547341/Florida-womans-bikini-clad-body-stuffed-trash-bag-ocean.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 A Florida woman’s bikini-clad body was found in a garbage bag in the ocean