Rope, anchor attached to missing boater's body - WFLA News Channel 8

Rope, anchor attached to missing boater's body

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MANATEE COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

More mystery surrounds the disappearance and death of a Manatee County fisherman. Wednesday, an autopsy on Patrick Mullins was unable to determine exactly how he died.  However, investigators have released new information about the discovery of his body.

Manatee deputies say Mullins' body was wrapped with a rope, with a 25-pound anchor attached.

Sheriff Dave Bristow spoke with our coverage partners at SNN. He says it is difficult to determine the manner in which Mullins died, without knowing a cause of death.

Toxicology and other tests will be performed in the days to come.

The Coast Guard reported that Patrick Mullins' 14-foot boat was found adrift January 28 between Egmont Key buoys 9 and 10. The Guard searched for Mullins for about 66 hours and covered more than 2,200 square miles.

A fisherman found his body floating in the Manatee River Tuesday afternoon.

Mullins was an educator at Palmetto High School.

In a written statement, Mullins' family said, "We wish to thank from the bottom of our hearts all the many loving and concerned individuals and organizations that have contributed their efforts and resources to resolving his disappearance."

Friends and family have planned a memorial service Thursday at Palmetto High School. It is not open to the general public.

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