TAMPA, Fla. – A Florida man was charged with killing a Pennsylvania woman after her dismembered body was found dumped in a bay, police said Wednesday.
Tampa police arrested 69-year-old Robert Kessler earlier this week on drug charges while investigating the death of Stephanie Crone-Overholts. Kessler is facing charges of second-degree murder and abusing a dead body.
A fisherman spotted body parts belonging to the 47-year-old woman from Erie, Pennsylvania, earlier this month.
Additional body parts, including a leg with a tattoo, were later discovered in McKay Bay, police said at a press conference. Police released photos of her tattoo — three hearts including the name of her son. The photos went viral online and made their way back to her family in Pennsylvania where she had been reported missing.
The relationship between Kessler and Crone-Overholts was unclear. Interim Chief Ruben Delgado said the two had been living together after meeting at a fast-food restaurant.
Police found her blood inside his van and home, Delgado said.
It's unclear if Kessler has retained an attorney who could comment on the charges.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that police don't know when Crone-Overholts was killed or when her body was dumped into the water. A motive has not been released.
The newspaper said Kessler denied any involvement in her death, telling a local TV station they met at a restaurant and he offered her a place to stay, but later asked her to leave.
Her son, Sean Overholts, released a statement earlier this month saying the family was devastated.
“This has been a living nightmare. It is unimaginable what she went through. My mother will be deeply missed.”