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.