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Police probe death of woman who fell from seawall into bay

Title: Police probe death of woman who fell from seawall into bay
Date: Saturday, 12 January 1980
Publisher: St. Petersburg Times (Florida)
Author: Steven A. Marquez
Main source:

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CLEARWATER — Police are investigating the apparent drowning of a woman who reportedly fell from a sea-wall into Clearwater Bay Friday morning.

The name of the woman, believed to be a visitor from out of town, is being withheld by police. The victim was described as a white and in her early 50s, 6-feet 3-inches tall and weighing about 160 pounds. She was clad in a blouse, sweater and skirt when she was found floating 10 feet from the wall behind the Pierce 100 condominium at 100 Pierce St.

Clearwater Police Sgt. Chuck Cooper said there was no sign of any foul play connected with the drowning. However, police are not ruling out the possibility of suicide.

Cooper said a man standing about 100 feet away saw the woman plunge from the 20-foot seawall at about 9:30 am. The witness notified the Clearwater Fire Department rescue squad, which arrived on the scene about five minutes later.

Rescue workers recovered the woman from about 6 feet of water in the bay, Cooper said. Attempts to revive the victim failed.

Found near the body was a purse containing a wallet, money and identification, Sgt. Cooper said. Also inside the purse was a key to a Clearwater motel room, leading police to believe the woman was visiting the area.

Cooper said there were no signs of injuries on the body, except for some scrapes, which probably resulted from the fall. The shoreline below the seawall is studded with rocks, which may have caused the bruises, Cooper added.

The Pinellas County medical examiner's office is conducting an autopsy to determine the cause of death.