ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — The St. Petersburg Police Department arrested a third suspect in its investigation of a burned body found in an alleyway on Aug. 18.
Police said Jerrish Stephens, 42, of St. Petersburg was one of the people who burned the body of Heather Olmstead “beyond recognition.”
The 31-year-old victim’s body was discovered when first responders arrived to an alleyway on Emerson Avenue South where a dumpster had caught fire. After the fire was extinguished, police found the body of a severely burned woman at the scene, along with a cell phone that belonged to another man.
Arrest affidavits said video surveillance showed a white pickup truck driving away from the burning dumpster.
Other video evidence showed the truck’s license plate, which was registered to Julie Curran, 64, of Pinellas Park. The truck was seen with a black GMC pickup truck at a home on 10 Avenue South 16 minutes before the incident, which police said was registered to the same man who owned the phone found at the scene.
The affidavits said Stephens, who lived at the home, was seen walking to the trucks and putting what appeared to be a gas can in the bed of the black pickup truck.
“Additional video footage also the black GMC following the white truck eastbound on Fairfield Avenue South two minutes before the fire is set in the trash container,” a document said.
According to police, Stephens said that the night of the fire, Curran and her daughter — Cree Worley, 30, of Pinellas Park — were at his house to buy crack cocaine.
He also told police that he put the gas can in the black truck, the affidavits said.
Worley and Curran were arrested on a charge of abuse of a dead body earlier in September. Stephens was arrested on the same charge Thursday.