Drowning victim identified
The DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office has identified the woman who drowned in the Peace River Sunday as 17-year-old Jerridedan Lakisha Bolds Froyer of Tampa. Froyer, who was identified by her fingerprints, would have turned 18 on Sept. 21.
Froyer allegedly was pushed off the State Road 70 bridge in Arcadia by Mark Alan Huntley, 28, also of Tampa, who has been charged with manslaughter and violation of probation in connection with her death.
Froyer’s body, still wearing a bathing suit, was found Tuesday 3 to 4 miles downstream, authorities said.
Huntley reportedly had tried to coax her to jump in the river. She was standing on a ledge or pipe attached to the bridge between Morgan Park and Veterans Park. She told Huntley she could not swim, but witnesses said he pushed her off the ledge and she fell into the river.
Huntley and another man who was with them, 28-year-old Andrew Jeremy Skevington, reportedly jumped in after her, but failed to save her.
Subsequently, witnesses told authorities that Huntley and Skevington collected her belongings, including identification, and left in a Jeep.
Huntley was found reportedly trying to hitchhike back to Tampa Monday afternoon on Northwest Owens Avenue, between state roads 70 and 72, just about 2 miles from where the drowning happened. Authorities said he refused to cooperate or identify the victim.
Huntley is being held without bond at the DeSoto County Jail. According to the Florida Department of Corrections website, Huntley is on probation for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in 2010, and was due to complete his probation on Sept. 16.
Skevington was arrested Sunday on a charge of accessory after the fact. He was released Monday afternoon on $2,500 bond.
A vigil for Froyer has been set for 6 p.m. Sunday at the Peace River Boat Ramp at Veterans Park.