Acting on an anonymous tip from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Gulfport Police located a powerboat near Williams Pier with two dead people on board on Sunday, June 2 at about 5:45 p.m.
Based on autopsy reports, the preliminary causes of death for a man and woman are thought to be drug overdoses and not suspicious, said Detective Sergeant Thomas Woodman, the Gulfport Police Department’s public information officer, on Tuesday, June 11.
“At this point in the investigation, there is no indication of any foul play or trauma to the bodies,” said Woodman. “However, when you find two dead people on a boat together, dying of natural causes at the same time is very unlikely.”
It will take about two months before the toxicology reports are processed and a final determination is made regarding the cause of death for both people, he said.
Names of the deceased and the dates of death are not being released while the investigation is active and ongoing, said Woodman.
Detectives found the 36-foot Hatteras sport-fishing boat named Get Reel of Palm Harbor about 200 yards from the pier anchored in Boca Ciega Bay. It was towed to the Gulfport Municipal marina for crime scene processing and staff from the medical examiner’s office removed the bodies.
Anthony Howard Thompson, 46, a transient from Madeira Beach, was arrested on Monday, June 3 on a misdemeanor charge of “lying during the investigation” when a police officer questioned him in connection to the deaths, said Woodman. At the time, Thompson was in possession of the boat owner’s cell phone and vehicle, which initially made the deaths suspicious.
Currently, Thompson is in Pinellas County Jail awaiting trial on a $1,500 bond on a charge of providing false information to a police officer.
The boat owner and his guest were in the Gulfport area for a few weeks prior to their deaths, said Woodman. Prior to that, the boat owner had been located in Madeira Beach.