Man charged with murder in connection to body parts found in McKay Bay, police say

Posted at 10:38 PM, Nov 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-25 14:28:15-05

TAMPA, Fla — On Nov. 11, 2021, body parts washed up in McKay Bay. It's the same day Stephanie Crone-Overholts was reported missing in Erie, Pennsylvania, by her mother.

Wednesday, Tampa Police say they spoke to one of the last people to see her alive, Robert Kessler, and they caught him in a lie.

RELATED: McKay Bay body identified

"He told us that Stephanie was staying there for a while however but had left," said Interim Tampa Police Chief, Ruben Delgado.

And not only do police say he's lying, but they've also charged him with her murder.

"In fact, we located some of Stephanie's blood in her car and we did a search warrant on Mr. Kessler's house where we found more blood and a pair of shoes," said Delgado.

Kessler is formally charged with second-degree murder and abuse of a dead human body in connection to Crone-Overholts' death.

TPD says there are still a lot of holes in the timeline between when the two met and when Stephanie died.

"According to Kessler it was [that] he met her somewhere at a fast-food restaurant and she had said she was living out of her car at the time so he invited her to live with him," said Delgado.

Police are asking for people who may have seen them together to call in and tell them anything you know. In the meantime, police say Robert is already in jail on unrelated drug charges. Records show he's charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell or deliver.

"He's been in prison several times and a lot of it is for drug activity. He is currently in custody now for a drug charge," said Delgado.

If you have tips for police, in this case, you can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477).

Tampa police say a major break in the case was connected to a distinctive tattoo, that was found on one of Stephanie's legs.

It's three hearts with the names Sean, Greg, and Zach.

According to police, it's what's helped the family identify the body. Stephanie's son, Sean, whose name is in one of those hearts, spoke to ABC Action News over the weekend about his mom.

He released the following statement:

"My family and I are devastated. This has been a living nightmare, it is unimaginable what she went through. My mother will be deeply missed. Thank you to friends, family, and the police for their support throughout this time. We are anxious for justice to be served and are extremely grateful to all law enforcement who are working hard to do that for our family and bring us closure."