Visitor found dead in bay

A Seminole man was found dead Aug. 21 in the shallow water of Sarasota Bay near shore between two docks in Bradenton Beach.

Two women walking back from the end of a bayfront dock in the 400 block of Bay Drive South saw the body and called 911 at 5:07 p.m., according to Manatee County dispatch and Bradenton Beach police reports.

Police found Steven Michael Bahm, 53, in thick vegetation with a bruised and cut eye at 5:12 p.m. He was pronounced dead by a 12th District medical examiner. He was found lying on his back partially in the water, wearing shorts, a tank top and one sandal, a BBPD report states.

He had been reported missing the day before by Pam Byrd, his live-in girlfriend. Bahm’s son also made a missing person report. BBPD officers searched Aug. 20 for him to no avail.

Byrd told police she left Bahm that Sunday at the dock where they had argued, following a day of drinking on a boat.

BBPD Detective Sgt. Lenard Diaz said Byrd also reported being afraid of Bahm and that she tried to shield her daughter from the argument. He also said Byrd left in their vehicle, but didn’t want Bahm to drive while intoxicated.

According to the police report, Byrd said Bahm had threatened “to walk off a pier and kill himself.”

A witness to the argument told Diaz she saw Bahm chugging from a bottle of vodka.

The witness who spotted the body told police she observed a broken bottle of vodka and brown sandal on the shoreline on her way out to the bench on the end of the dock and “thought nothing of it.”

Diaz reported the medical examiner found fluid in Bahm’s lungs.

An investigation is ongoing, he added.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the BBPD at 941-778-4766 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.

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