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Investigators seek possible witness in NFM homicide

By Staff | Nov 23, 2008

Lee County Sheriff’s investigators are searching for both a witness and a “person of interest” in the death of a woman found slumped behind the wheel of a pickup truck in a North Fort Myers parking lot Saturday.

The witness, possibly a male, was seen walking through the Weaver’s Corner Shopping Center, 1830 N. Tamiami Trail, shortly before deputies received a call for medical assistance at 7:20 p.m. The person walked past the red Nissan pickup truck where the woman’s body was found, sheriff’s spokesman Larry King said Sunday.

Investigators are asking this person to come forward.

Surveillance photos also show a vehicle leaving the parking lot within minutes of the discovery of the victim. Detectives would like to identify, and talk to, the driver of the silver car, possibly a Pontiac Sunfire.

“The driver is a person of interest,” King said.

Anyone who can provide information on the driver of the silver car is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers.

Investigators hope the location of either party will provide information concerning the death of Evelyn R. Bermudez, 49, of 4544 Auburn Ave., Fort Myers.

Law enforcement began investigating after the Lee County Sheriff’s Office received the medical assistance call and found, instead, a body. Witnesses told deputies the truck had rolled backward from a parking space in front of the U.S. Post Office, before coming to stop several feet away.

The woman’s body was behind the wheel, and there were obvious signs of trauma, officials said. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

The District 21 Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy Sunday but the results are investigative and for that reason, cause of death will not be released at this time, King said.

“It’s been ruled a homicide,” he said.

Bermudez has a record of drug-related arrests but officials do not know if this history has any connection to her death.

“It’s too early to tell,” King said.

Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit continue the investigation.

Anyone who knows the person or persons responsible for this crime or has additional information is asked to contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at (239) 477-1000 or, to remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 dollars, Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).