Keys man ar­rested in case of corpse found by fish­er­man

Miami Herald (Sunday) - - Local & State - BY DAVID GOODHUE AND DAVID NEAL dgood­[email protected] [email protected]­ami­her­

A Marathon man was ar­rested in the death of a woman whose naked body was found in a wooded area by a fish­er­man near the Vaca Cut Bridge Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon.

Mon­roe County Sher­iff’s Of­fice de­tec­tives say it ap­pears the woman was dragged off a walk­ing trail into nearby brush. Po­lice have not re­leased a pos­si­ble cause of death.

“How the vic­tim died and whether she was sex­u­ally as­saulted also re­mains part of an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion, part of which in­cludes the pend­ing au­topsy,” Adam Lin­hardt, sher­iff’s of­fice spokesman, said in a state­ment re­leased Fri­day af­ter­noon.

Steven Matthew Wolf, 58, was ar­rested Thurs­day on charges of sec­ond­de­gree mur­der and felony ev­i­dence de­stroy­ing, as well as a mis­de­meanor charge of fail­ing to re­port a death to the med­i­cal ex­am­iner. He had been in cus­tody for ques­tion­ing, but not ar­rested, since Wed­nes­day, Mon­roe County Sher­iff’s Of­fice spokesman Adam LIn­hardt said.

The trees and brush where the woman was found were plowed through by a ve­hi­cle, and van parts were found strewn about, Lin­hardt said.

Deputies found a dam­aged van in the park­ing lot of the Kmart shop­ping cen­ter at 5561 Over­seas High­way. The auto parts found in the woods ap­peared to match the van, but that’s part of an on­go­ing foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Lin­hardt said.

“We had Wolf in cus­tody within hours of the body be­ing found,” Lin­hardt said.

Po­lice also found blood in the van that tested pos­i­tive as hu­man. De­tec­tives, how­ever, have not con­cluded that it was the vic­tim’s blood, Lin­hardt said.

The fish­er­man was on a shore when he found the body north of the bridge in Marathon, Lin­hardt said. Po­lice have not re­leased the cause of death or de­tails about the types of wounds or in­juries found on the body, other than con­firm­ing the woman’s cloth­ing had been re­moved.

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion on the sher­iff’s of­fice web­site, Wolf works in con­struc­tion, and his ad­dress is listed as the “streets of Marathon.” He is be­ing held in Key West jail on no bond.

De­tec­tives are seek­ing the pub­lic’s help in iden­ti­fy­ing the body. Po­lice de­scribed her as a white woman with sandy brown hair, 50 to 60 years old, and about five-foot-eight and 150 to 180 pounds.

De­tec­tives have used her fin­ger­prints to try to find out who she is, Lin­hardt said.

“They have also cross­ref­er­enced all avail­able in­for­ma­tion on our law en­force­ment data­bases, in­clud­ing fa­cial recog­ni­tion soft­ware, in an at­tempt to iden­tify her,” Lin­hardt said. “Those ef­forts have thus far been un­suc­cess­ful.”

Po­lice also want to talk to any­one who saw Wolf be­tween 9 a.m. Tues­day and 6 p.m. Wed­nes­day, or if they saw the type of green Dodge con­ver­sion van he was driv­ing with an Amer­i­can flag bug shield above the grill within that same time win­dow.

“This is a very sad case that be­gan while most res­i­dents were en­joy­ing time with their fam­i­lies and friends for Thanks­giv­ing,” Sher­iff Rick Ram­say said in a state­ment. “I’m very pleased and thank­ful to our Ma­jor Crimes and Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tions Unit de­tec­tives, our Road Pa­trol deputies as well as our part­ners at the State At­tor­ney’s Of­fice who rose to the oc­ca­sion to make a very timely ar­rest, en­sur­ing there was no on­go­ing threat to our com­mu­nity.”

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion about her iden­tity or how she died can call Crime Stop­pers at 866471-TIPS (8477).


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