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Authorities seek two in Key West boat homicide

By Staff | Feb 17, 2009

Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for a man and woman they have coined “people of interest” in a homicide discovered Friday aboard a missing Cape Coral man’s boat in Key West.
Police had not yet confirmed the victim’s identity or the manner in which the victim was killed Tuesday evening, citing an ongoing investigation.
The people of interest were pulled over by police in Tennessee Thursday, driving a 1999 Mercury Marquis belonging to Richard Jean Gardner, 57, who was reported missing Friday to Cape Coral police, deputies said. Gardner also was the registered owner of the boat where the slain body was discovered.
The two lacked identification and were subsequently released from the traffic stop, deputies said.
Detectives acquired video footage of the stop from Memphis police.
The male is described as 35 to 36 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall, 170 to 180 pounds with medium-length shaggy brown hair and an unshaven face with a possible goatee. The female is described as about 40 years old, 5 feet 3 inches tall, 150 to 160 pounds with dreadlocks and a swollen lip.
The two were traveling with a black miniature Schnauzer, deputies said.
The tag number to Gardner’s vehicle is J94KCX.
According to reports, Gardner’s wife Jennie said she had not spoken to Gardner since about 8:15 p.m. Feb. 10 after he had left for Key West.
She said the two own a boat called “Flow Too Me,” located in Key West, and that it is unusual for Gardner to be out of contact with her.
Law enforcement officers discovered the body aboard Gardner’s boat during a well-being check at the King’s Pointe Marine on Stock Island Friday morning, deputies said.
The Monroe County Medical Examiner said it will need more information before identifying the victim.
Anyone with information about the people of interest are asked to call Detective Terry Smith at 305-289-2410, or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-780-TIPS (8477).
Also may submit tips via e-mail at: www.tipsubmit.com.