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Date of Issue: December 20, 2007

Chief: 'Somebody saw her'

mug-Beard-Carla.jpg
Police continue to seek information in the slaying of Carla Ann Beard, 29, of Sarasota.

Holmes Beach police continued last week to pursue leads in the slaying of Carla Ann Beard, 29.

Beard’s body was discovered Dec. 1 in a bed of seagrape leaves behind a beach house at 50th Street and Fifth Avenue in Holmes Beach. Renters looking for the source of an odor came across the find.

By Dec. 2, authorities had identified the body as that of Carla Beard, who went missing after leaving a First Step substance abuse treatment center Nov. 26. Officials believe Beard died in the days just after she left First Step.

HBPD investigators have been trying to build a timeline, as well as pursue leads in Beard’s disappearance and death by a blow to the head.

“We still feel like we’ve got somebody out there that knows what happened,” said HBPD Chief Jay Romine. “Somebody saw her.”

Romine said the department had received some information that Beard was seen on the Island.

He added that officials hoped to have more information when medical results come back from a lab.

The Gold Star Club of Manatee County has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in Beard’s death.

The Manatee County Crime Stoppers has put up a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the Beard case.

Authorities are urging anyone with information about Beard’s death to call the Holmes Beach Police Department at 941-708-5800. Anonymous tips may also be made to Manatee County Crime Stoppers hotline at 866-634-8477 (TIPS) or at www.manateecrimestoppers.com/anonymoustips.html.

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