Sheriff urges mom to share with BBPD

Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube encouraged a mother seeking a new investigation into her daughter’s death on New Year’s Day 2009 to share any evidence she’s compiled with the Bradenton Beach Police Department.

Kelly Osborn, in late March, wrote to Steube asking that the MCSO open an investigation into the death of her 22-year-old daughter, Sheena Lee Morris of Tampa. Morris was found hanging in a shower in a resort room in Bradenton Beach on Jan. 1, 2009.

The BBPD determined that Morris’ death was a suicide, but Osborn believes her daughter was killed, and that the BBPD made mistakes in its handling of the case.

BBPD Chief Sam Speciale has defended his department’s investigation, saying the lead detective went beyond what’s expected and required and that other agencies, including the MCSO and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, have affirmed BBPD’s conclusion.

Osborn, rejecting BBPD’s position, has hired private investigators and an independent autopsy and offered the records to Steube.

“I would like to share these affidavits with you or your homicide investigators,” the mother wrote to Steube. She added, “So that we can finally have a real investigation into the cause of my daughter’s death and get a killer off the streets before this happens to another young woman.”

The sheriff, in a letter to Osborn, said he recalled past conversations on the case.

“Your recent letter states that you have new and compelling information on the case,” Steube wrote. He then encouraged Osborn “to immediately contact the BBPD with that information and the affidavits you mentioned.”

The sheriff also said that BBPD has jurisdiction on the case and “only at their request would the sheriff’s office conduct a review.”

Osborn, two weeks earlier, was told by Bradenton Beach Mayor Bob Bartelt to have the MCSO request the case files from BBPD if she wanted that agency to review the case.

4 thoughts on “Sheriff urges mom to share with BBPD

  1. airn

    The Truth…
    “Syracuse, NY — The cause of death of a former Clay woman whose death was ruled a suicide in January 2009 has been changed to undetermined.

    Sheena Morris, 22, who was born and raised in Central New York, was found hanged in her hotel room on Jan. 1, 2009 on Anna Maria Island in Fla. Earlier, she was ringing in the New Year with her fiancé . ” – The Post Standard (

  2. debbie parker

    They need to re-open this case! The manner of death has been changed to undetermined. That In an of Itself warrants a new Investigation! My prayer’s go out to the family

  3. David Morris

    Speciale defended his departments investigation!!?THEY NEVER DID AN INVESTIGATION !they walked in saw what they saw and ruled it a suicide.Thats not an investigation.RED FLAG;The guest in the hotel room next door to the deceased called 911 a few hours earlier reorting a domestic disturbance in the room of the deceased.The deceased boyfriend left before B.B.P.D.arrived and ,but informed them she was assaulted by boyfriend and had taken photos of injuries with camera/cell phone.Would Speciale like to comment on the fact that the medical examiners office has changed the manner of death from suicide to UNDETERMINED WITH IN THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS.IF YOUR GOING TO REPORT THE STORY REPORT THE WHOLE STORY

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