‘Suspicious death’ follows fight at Passage Key

The July 16 death of Pamela Carter Doster, 45, of Pasco County, is being investigated as “suspicious.”

Michael Doster, husband of the victim, placed a call to 911 July 13 to report his wife missing, and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and Pinellas County authorities began a search.

MCSO Detective Sgt. John Kenney said the woman was rescued by a marine patrol unit after Pinellas County aviation authorities located her around 10 p.m. July 13 on Passage Key, about a half-mile north of Bean Point on Anna Maria Island.

She was found wearing only a life jacket and taken to the Rod & Reel Pier in Anna Maria where, in an interview with MCSO deputies, she told them her husband, Michael Doster, 50, also of Pasco County, had forced her off a Sea-Doo four times earlier that evening by pulling her hair and pushing her into the water. She said she hit her head on the Sea-Doo.

Law enforcement indicated both Pamela and Michael Doster, age 50, were under the influence of alcohol.

The husband was arrested for domestic battery and released from custody July 15 after posting a $5,000 bond.

Following her interview with the deputies, Pamela Doster was taken to a Blake Medical Center. She was discharged and stayed in a women’s shelter overnight and later returned to Blake, where she died the morning of July 16, Kenney said.

Kenney said her death is “suspicious” and, on July 21, he said it’s being treated as a “possible homicide.”

“Following the autopsy report, we have started our investigation to determine if this warrants classification as a homicide,” Kenney said.

Kenney declined to give details of the autopsy report, but The Islander learned from another source that Pamela Doster died from internal bleeding of the brain that could not be controlled.

Law enforcement is looking in particular for a man who was alleged to have sexual relations with Michael Doster at Passage Key on the day of the incident.

Passage Key was a designated wildlife refuge before it eroded and disappeared after a tropical storm passed nearby several years ago. A sandbar that formed in the same location is known to be frequented by bay-area nudists. It can only be reached by boat.

Kenney urged anyone with information about the watercraft incident or anyone who had contact that day with the Dosters to contact him at 941-747-3011, ext. 2216.

6 thoughts on “‘Suspicious death’ follows fight at Passage Key

  1. Marci

    It is terrible this tragic death had to occur to draw attention to the escalating issues at Passage Key. This is a beautiful place to boat or at least it was before it was over taken by “nudists”. I don’t have a problem with nudity but lewd behavior is a different story. Clean it up! Get rid of the riffraff! The decent nature loving boaters want to be able to go there at least one weekend a month without feeling like we’ve gone to Headonism.

    1. THomas


      It’s spelled Hedonism and I’m almost certain that no one would want to see you naked anyway which is why you’re so militant about the “nudists” and the “riffraff.” There are countless beaches and sand bars all over Florida’s West Coast where you won’t encounter these terrible, lawless, problem causing nudists. I’d suggest you go to any of those beaches and not inflict your uptight, puritanical moral code on me or the other people that frequent Passage Key that are not self conscious about the nude human figure that God gave us. For the record, I don’t participate in “lewd behavior” on Passage Key nor do any of the people that I have met there. We just have a little bit better grasp on what is considered normal in regards to body image and we like to enjoy ourselves in nature the way the good Lord intended us to. For your information, most of the free world agrees with this sentiment as evidenced by the beaches, lakes and public parks in Europe, South America and much of the free world. Take your clothes off once in a while Marci, it might do you some good.

      1. John Schlinz

        I agree THomas. If there are so many escalating issues on the Key due to people who enjoy skinny dipping. Why is this the only thing I have heard about. Stay away Marci, there may be people visiting Passage Key who smoke cigs too.


  2. Tim Johnson

    Shouldn’t the sandbar out there that has replaced the original key be considered Passage Key Wildlife Refuge again? If so, no one should be allowed on it and the National Wildlife Service should post signs out there to keep people out! And local law enforcement should monitor it! The sandbar needs to be recognized as a re-emerged Passage Key!!


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