NewsPinellas County


Man charged for burning body found in trunk of car on Pinellas Trail

Posted at 12:37 PM, May 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-29 13:03:13-04

GULFPORT, Fla. — Gulfport Police say a man is facing charges related to a burned body found in the trunk of a car on the Pinellas Trail last year.

According to a press release, Andy Bryant, 34, is charged with arson and abuse of a dead body.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Body found in trunk of burning car on Pinellas Trail, St. Pete Police say

The body of Jesus Manuel Tavarez-Soto, 55, was found in September 2020 in the trunk of a burned car parked on a popular stretch of the trail, which winds through Clam Bayou.

Police say Bryant disposed of Tavarez-Soto's body by placing it in the truck of the vehicle, which belonged to Tavarez-Soto, and setting them both on fire.

Bryant was not charged with homicide because police say Tavarez-Soto died from other means. Police say there's no evidence showing trauma to the remains around the time of death, so the medical examiner's office has listed the cause of death as undetermined.

According to a press release, Bryant confessed to detectives that he found the victim dead and disposed of the body. He is being held in the Pinellas County Jail with a $500,000 bond.

Police say the two men knew each other.