A severed leg that washed ashore on December 27, 2011 was identified as the leg of a missing Florida woman on Tuesday.
Kelly Moriarty, 38, from Bradenton, Florida and her 62-year-old girlfriend Doris Carter was last seen by Carter’s family on December 16 as they drove off in Kelly’s car, reports the Tampa Bay Times. It wouldn’t be until over a month later before both families would realize they were both missing persons.
On December 20, their car was found abandoned on State Road 62 in Parrish. The car was later searched but the police found nothing out of the ordinary.
Then on December 27, a human leg is found near Fourth Street South on the shore line washed up by the water. It was cut at the thigh and the foot.
The St. Petersburg Police were not able to identify who it belonged to, let alone the gender, and at this point did not know that Kelly and Doris were even missing.
On January 27, Kelly’s brother received a phone call from Kelly’s landlord, who said that Kelly had not paid the rent and it was long overdue. When the brother went to her apartment, he found the Christmas tree still up and gifts unwrapped. He left and went to the police station to file a missing persons report. Doris Carter’s family was contacted and they also filed a missing person’s report.
In February, the St. Petersburg police called the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office to tell them they had found a decomposing body in a garbage can in the backyard of a home. The St. Petersburg police wanted to know if it was missing a leg.
It wasn’t, but authorities began to wonder if either the body or the leg may belong to one of the missing women, and asked for DNA from the Carter and Moriarty families.
When the DNA report came back this last Monday, it showed that the leg belonged to Kelly.
Although police have not named Carter as a suspect in Moriarty’s disappearance or death, they would like to find her so they can talk to her.
“It might not even be a homicide,” the police captain said.
For all the police know, Kelly may be alive and well with one leg.
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