Man accused of dismembering woman’s body charged with first-degree murder

Robert Kessler indicted in death of Stephanie Crone-Overholts

Stephanie Crone-Overholts. (Tampa Police Department)

TAMPA, Fla. – A Florida grand jury indicted a man on first-degree murder charges Thursday after police say he killed a Pennsylvania woman and dumped her dismembered body into a bay.

The Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office said it had obtained an indictment against 69-year-old Robert Kessler. He had been charged with second-degree murder for last month's death of earlier of Stephanie Crone-Overholts, 47, of Erie, Pennsylvania.

A fisherman spotted body parts belonging to her in McKay Bay. 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 Tampa Police Chief Ruben Delgado said last month that 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.

Prosecutors have not decided yet whether to seek the death penalty.