Gulfport and St. Petersburg police departments worked as a team to arrest Andy Bryant, 34, as a suspect in the investigation of a car fire and the recovery of a badly burned body in the trunk on the Skyway Trail in Clam Bayou in September 2020.
Bryant was booked at the Pinellas County Jail and charged with arson and abuse of a dead human body on Wednesday, May 26 and is currently being held on a $500,000 bond.
Police do not believe Bryant played a part in death of Jesus Manuel Tavarez-Soto, 55, but that he disposed of the body after discovering it.
“The investigation supported the fact that the victim died from other means and that Bryant disposed of the body by placing it in the trunk of the vehicle and burning them both,” the Gulfport Police Department wrote in a press release.
The cause of Tavarez-Soto’s death is still undetermined.
Back in September
Eight months ago, the Gulfport Police Department and the St. Petersburg Police Department worked together after a burning car was reported by a biker on the Skyway Trail near the Twin Brooks Golf Course at 22nd Avenue South and 41st Street.
The incinerated 2014 black Nissan Sentra was eventually recovered by firefighters and upon further investigation, authorities found Tavarez-Soto’s body in the trunk.
He was eventually identified through dental records, police said.
“Based on the condition of the skeletal remains found in the trunk, no evidence was identified showing trauma at or around the time of death according to the forensic anthropologist,” Gulfport police released.
The investigation continues.