Unsolved Mysteries: Body in the Bay Recap
Unsolved Mysteries: Body in the Bay opens with the family and friends of Patrick Mullins discussing his unsolved death.
His wife Jill discusses their move to Bradenton and the memories they created there with their son Miles. His brother Gray also recalls the two of them having many adventures, most of which included them on a boat. Boating seemed to be a favorite activity for the family in general.
On January 27th, 2013, Jill remembers going to her sister’s house. She said goodbye to Patrick, not knowing it would be the last time she saw him alive.
When she got home, he was not there, so she went to look for him, getting more and more worried as time went on. She noticed his boat the Stumpnocker was missing, so she knew there was trouble.
At this point, Jill called Miles, who told her not to worry since he told him that he was taking the boat out for a spin. However, as time went on, he realized something was wrong and went to help Jill with the search. They looked in the Braden River, where they assumed he had gone. However, the search turned up nothing, so they reported him missing.
Lt. Rabun Moss remembers the call and the questioning Jill about their relationship, finances and the like to get an idea of why he would be missing. A formal search began for Patrick and it is learned that he left his home around 3pm that afternoon. Both the Braden River and the Manatee River were searched and before long, the Coast Guard joined in the search.
On January 28th, the boat(which was left on idle) was found by Egmont Key, a shipping channel where goods are delivered. This was not an area he was supposed to be and far from the house. There was also no Patrick, despite several of his personal belongings being on the boat. A background search began to see if there was a reason that he would disappear on his own accord, but it turned up nothing.
There was also an unusual red paint stain on the side of the boat that had not been there before.
Miles and Jill recall their life with Patrick, including how he became a librarian after teaching for several years. His brother Gray and friend Mark also shared fond memories.
The search continued and on Feburary 5th, a fisherman named Geoffery Page, along with several others he was with, found his body. He was in his clothes, with one shoe missing, his wallet in his pocket and his watch on his wrist. He was also wrapped in rope with a tiny anchor tied to the bottom.
The family is notified and left devastated.
A coroner determines that there was head trauma and gunshot wounds to the head. Due to several other findings, it could have been suicide or homicide, but the cause of death was ultimately declared undetermined. However, it leaned more toward suicide.
Jill had a hard time believing this, as did investigative reporter Lee Williams, who was covering the case.
Miles explained that the suicide theory also came from the way the rope was tied to him, but he did not think this was the case. There was also no evidence that he had access to or that he purchased a gun.
Jill knew that this was not a suicide, but kept being told that if he were murdered, his wallet would have been taken. She knew how much money he had and thinks there was a different reason he was killed.
In 2021, the family brought in a forensic expert to examine the suicide theory. Dr. Lori Baker was one of the people who worked on this and determined that it was very unlikely that this was a suicide case. Dr. Russell Vega agreed that this was unlikely based on the shotgun evidence. Lack of blood and other evidence on the boat also determine that he was shot elsewhere and that this was a homicide case.
Dr. Lori also pointed out that there was a possibility that he was not even in the water that long since he was not attacked by sharks or other animals.
His family wonders if this was a case of a Good Samaritan act gone wrong. There was a lot of problematic activity that occurred in the area where Patrick was, so it was possible that could have played a role in his death.
A video that could have helped in the case was turned in, but it ended up being a corrupt file.
More and more people are interviewed, including Damon Crestwood, who was a friend of Patrick’s brother and often at family functions. The two of them were not close, but Damon seemed to have taken Patrick’s death very hard….to the point where it seemed to be very abnormal. He would even go to the river and cry over Patrick. Damon would often ask if people would still be his friend if something happened and had a breakdown every year on the anniversary of Patrick’s death.
It was later discovered that Damon was a crystal meth addict and it made him act more and more paranoid.
Miles also recalls Damon being with the family on Memorial Day weekend He had tied a rope on himself and his dog in the same way that the rope was tied on Patrick’s body. This was troubling for everyone and Damon was confronted. However, he gave no explanation. He became even more suspect when it was discovered that his boat had the same kind of paint that was found on Patrick’s boat.
Police wanted to investigate further, but Damon refused to cooperate and cut off contact with everyone until his death on April 5th, 2017. He had overdosed.
After his death, Damon’s daughter gave a sample of the boat and it was a match. However, the police said this was not important because it was a common kind of paint.
Damon is suspected by Patrick’s friends and family as being involved in his death, but cannot figure out why he would want him dead.
At this point, Patrick’s death is still undetermined since both suicide and homicide could be possibilities.
Jill is still looking for answers and offering a $20,000 reward for any information.