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Date of Issue: December 03, 2008

Year passes in unsolved homicide

The one-year anniversary in the slaying of Carla Ann Beard passed quietly last week.

Holmes Beach police continue to investigate the slaying, reporting this fall that some of Beard’s personal possessions were found on the beach.

But no arrests have been made for the crime.

Beard’s body was found in a bed of seagrape leaves near the beach at a house at 50th Street and Fifth Avenue on Dec. 1, 2007.

A visiting family had arrived on a Friday night and dismissed a foul odor as that of dead fish or seaweed. But the next day, with the odor more intense, the vacationers scouted around the property and discovered Beard’s decomposing body under the branches of an overgrown seagrape tree a short distance from the beach and the beachfront home.

An autopsy on Dec. 2 indicated the victim died of blunt trauma to the head.

Authorities believe Beard, 29, of Sarasota, was killed sometime after she left a First Step substance-abuse treatment center in Sarasota on Nov. 26, 2007.

In late August, someone on the beach near the Martinique condominiums found the items that supposedly belonged to Beard.

The Gold Star Club of Manatee County continues to offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and the Manatee County Crime Stoppers has put up an additional $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Authorities have urged 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 or at www.manateecrimestoppers.com/anonymoustips.html.