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Woman's body found by dog near San Antonio truck stop

The Sheriff's Office is investigating it as a suspicious death. Autopsy results might come today.

Published April 2, 2006

SAN ANTONIO - Kevin Okon awoke in his semitrailer truck cab early Sunday morning to walk Blackjack, his constant canine companion on the road.

As they walked along the grassy lot next to the Flying J truck stop at State Road 52 and Interstate 75, Blackjack, a Catahoula and Australian shepherd mix, suddenly hunkered down and stuck out her nose.

A moment later, Okon was standing over the body of a woman in the tall, dry grass.

"I probably wouldn't even have seen it except for (the dog)," said Okon, who described the morning as dark and foggy. "It shocked me."

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office is calling the case a suspicious death. The black, middle-aged woman has not been identified and her cause of death has not been determined, Sheriff's Office spokesman Kevin Doll said.

"We're hoping that somebody saw something, anything that's out of the ordinary at a truck stop," he said.

The Flying J is a high-traffic spot, with a restaurant, gas station and about 65 big rigs passing through at any given time.

George Spickler said he had just parked his truck along the curb near the grass and was sipping some coffee when Okon knocked on his door just after 6 a.m.

"He told me I'd have to stay here. I said "for what?' He said because there's a dead body laying in the grass," said Spickler, who planned to drive home Sunday to Pensacola.

Sheriff's Office forensics investigators examined the body and the ground around it throughout the morning. About 10:30 a.m., they set up a tent over where the partly clothed body lay.

Just after noon, they wrapped the body in a sheet and loaded it into a van.

Doll said autopsy results could come as soon as today.

[Last modified April 2, 2006, 20:28:02]

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