[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
We suspected this case would turn out to be worse than it sounded — and it was pretty horrifying already.
In case you haven’t been following, Tampa fishermen found human body parts in McKay Bay last month. Police only had a leg and part of a torso at first but were able to identify the victim as missing Pennsylvania native Stephanie Crone-Overholts (above, right) thanks to a distinctive tattoo.
All the evidence — witnesses, surveillance footage, phone logs, presence of the victim’s blood, and more — pointed to a Lutz man named Robert Kessler. (Learn more about the evidence HERE.) Crone-Overholts had been staying in Kessler’s home, supposedly a charitable act on his part after meeting her at a McDonald’s and learning she was living in her car.
However, police weren’t buying his story and quickly arrested him. Now the more comes out, the creepier this guy seems. The 69-year-old was apparently living with his 8-year-old daughter — though the timing of that is sketchy considering he only got out of prison (his last stint of many) in 2013. And it gets more suspicious. The girl’s mother has been identified as 34-year-old April Thompson (above, left), who reportedly died of an accidental drug overdose in September.
We’re going to be honest here. When we first learned the girl’s mother also died just a few weeks before this near-stranger was invited into Kessler’s home and then murdered, our coincidence alarm kind of went nuts. We mean… the idea that this guy would go from zero to dismemberment overnight? In retirement age? We couldn’t help wondering if we were getting the full story about April’s death… We also have to note the striking likeness between the two women — what’s that about?
Now there’s another reason to wonder.
During a pretrial detention hearing on Wednesday, prosecutors continued to argue to remand Kessler to custody — no bail, no getting out of jail before the trial. Assistant State Attorney Scott Harmon made a shocking reveal to bolster the argument that Kessler was a danger to the community: there might be another victim! He told the court:
“We have an unknown DNA profile in the same area where [Crone-Overholts’] body was dismembered. Now we don’t know for a fact whose DNA that is but we know it’s a female’s and it’s not [Kessler’s] and it’s contained within an area of blood. And it’s not the victim.”
Whoa. He added:
“I would suggest to the court that alone shows a disregard for the safety of the community that now we potentially have two victims.”
We agree, obviously. If they think he chopped up just one woman that’s good enough reason to keep him away from the public. But could it be two??
Is it possible this blood was from the mother? April’s sister told the Tampa Bay Times that Kessler had “a history of battery.” Domestic violence leading to murder isn’t that much of a stretch.
Anyway, we’ll keep you up to date when authorities do finally figure out where the other blood came from. Considering they’ve solved this much already just from a leg, we expect we’ll know more soon.
What do YOU think happened?!
[Image via WFLA/YouTube/Tampa Police Department.]
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