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Police review sauna death

MELISSA REID
Associate Publisher
mreid@lbknews.com

The Longboat Key Police responded this week to a suspicious death that occurred in the Harbourside sauna.

“We are working around the clock with a task force and are trying to investigate so we can have more information as soon as we can,” said Longboat Police Chief Pete Cumming.

The woman, age 54, was found by her friend at the sauna on Tuesday, Jan. 23 in the afternoon. According to police she was a part-time resident at the Moorings, and her and her husband also have a home in Sarasota.

Cumming said there is evidence of trauma, and the police are working with the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the manner of death.

“There were signs of trauma, but we don’t know if it’s self-inflicted or not,” said Cumming.

The police have removed the boards from the sauna to help search for clues as to the manner of death and are using all investigative tools possible to solve the mystery.

“The autopsy was performed yesterday (Thursday), and we’re interviewing dozens of people. I spent the day at the Harbourside sauna removing the boards and we’re going to Luminol them, look for blood spatters, use toxicology tests and DNA samples. We’re working as hard and as thorough as we can to get this thing resolved. I can tell you that I wouldn’t put forth this much resources if I thought it were a natural or accidental death,” said Cumming.

Cumming says the heater in the sauna was on when the body was found, and that they’re working with the Medical Examiner on getting a core temperature to determine the time of death.

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Longboat Key News

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