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Patrick Lee Mullins: Who Can?

In Palmetto, Florida, Patrick Lee Mullins was a cherished librarian at Palmetto High School. Patrick was anticipating retirement at the time. Patrick was well-liked by both faculty and students. He frequently urged them to read, and he was reputed to cover the costs of the SAT and ACT for students who were in need of financial support. He was the kind of educator every kid required because he had faith in their capacity for achievement. He intended to continue collecting and fixing vintage boats after retiring, and he and his brother Bert intended to invest their retirement funds in a boat motor repair business.

What happened to Pat Mullins? Theories around Unsolved Mysteries case |  Radio Times
Pic: Radio

Patrick And Jill

A teacher named Jill was Patrick’s wife, and the two had been together for about 30 years. Patrick and Jill had two adult boys, and he often took them off-roading and helped them fix an old Army jeep. Patrick did not have any significant problems in his personal life or with his finances, health, or use of drugs.

the time Patrick vanished. When last seen, Patrick was on January 27, 2013. He stopped at a local store on State Road 64, according to The Bradenton Herald, to buy a drain valve for an air conditioner and a set of welding goggles that were on sale that day. He went out on the Braden River with his boat sometime between three and four o’clock. It’s thought he was testing an engine he had just finished working on. His riverfront home was roughly 300 yards west of where the boat took off. The boat, a 16-foot “Stumpknocker,” had a narrow hull and a shallow draught that made it perfect for crossing the Braden River, according to Uncovered’s timeline.

That day, Jill spent the day in Sarasota, Florida, visiting family, and she was home around 6:00 PM. Although Patrick’s truck is still parked in the driveway, her husband is nowhere to be found. Although some sources do imply that he might have left Jill a note, this information has not been officially confirmed. Concerned, Jill makes calls to her relatives to ask whether they had spoken to Patrick recently. The stumpknocker-like vessel was spotted around 6:10 PM sailing from Terra Ceia Bay towards Tampa Bay, according to a witness who later reported the incident to police. Witness claimed there was just one person on board.


Later that evening, Jill calls 911 and alerts the Manatee County Sheriff’s office that her husband has vanished. Authorities ask right away if Patrick was despondent and about their marriage’s current situation. Bert, Patrick’s brother, who assisted in the street and waterway searches, is contacted by Jill.

the moment his boat was located. The family was spoken to by the lead investigator the next day, January 28, 2013, at their residence. Patrick’s case was the first death investigation case for this investigator, who lacked previous homicide experience. Local law enforcement and the Coast Guard maintained their search throughout the day. The investigator asked to see video from the cameras on the railroad bridge close to the Manatee River. The film is recorded over earlier footage, so the detective doesn’t really pursue this option. In the end, Jill urges the investigator to subpoena the video, but unhappily it was probably overwritten and didn’t add anything to the case.

Patrick’s Stumpknocker boat was found in Egmont Key, which was quite a ways from the place where he had launched it the day before. The motor was still running when the boat was discovered to be empty. Around 10:00 am, a tugboat captain saw the boat between markers 8 and 9, and he alerted the coast guard.

Feb 2013

On February 5, 2013, a charter boat angler comes upon a body in around 4 feet of water next to a seagrass bed. The odd thing was that the remnants were firmly fastened to a 25-pound anchor. The back of the skull, the face, and the cheeks were mostly missing, and there were traces of a gunshot wound to the head. By 2:00 PM, the body had been pulled from the river, and it had been guessed from the identification card in his wallet that it belonged to Patrick Mullins. The remains of Patrick were positively identified during an autopsy the following day. When the body’s remains were delivered to the medical examiner’s office, the cause of death, a close-range gunshot wound, was judged to be the manner of death. The weapon did not make contact with the jaw, according to the medical examiner.

Authorities jumped to the conclusion that Patrick committed suicide, but his family was certain this was not the case. The firearm Patrick did not own. Blood or brain tissue were not found, which would have supported the suicide allegation. Jill thinks Patrick may have encountered criminal activity while on the river. The family requested a second opinion in 2013, but because of the damage, the verdict of “undetermined” is still in effect.

It’s interesting to note that a close family friend by the name of Damon Crestwood started acting oddly between 2013 and 2017. Crestwood had a reputation for being pleasant, although he was more like Bert than Patrick. Crestwood may be seen sobbing for hours while gazing out over the Manatee River. Crestwood was known to experience a mental breakdown on the anniversary of Patrick’s case and put a rope around his waist, very much like how Patrick was discovered. Crestwood overdoses on methamphetamine and dies in 2017, thus it is unclear whether he was involved.

the current state of the case. Patrick’s case is still open. The FBI was able to redesignate his case as a homicide in 2020. In the current Unsolved Mysteries season, 3 episode 7 titled “Body in the Bay” on Netflix, Patrick’s case is discussed.

Call the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office at (941) 747-3011 if you have any information about the unsolved murder of Patrick Mullins.

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