Accidental Drowning

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office

Patrol Operations Bureau

-Marine & Environmental Lands Unit

-Flight Unit

Investigative Operations Bureau

-Robbery & Homicide Unit
-Crimes Against Children Unit


United States Coast Guard


St. Pete Beach Fire Rescue


Michael Stephens (Deceased)
DOB: 08/23/1980


Isabella Stephens (Deceased)
DOB: 08/02/2012


Trinity Stephens (Non-Injured)
DOB: 05/15/2009


Brittany Stephens (Non-Injured)

DOB: 09/01/2002


Jessie Johnson (Non-Injured)
DOB: 07/06/2002


PINELLAS COUNTY – On April 23, 2023, at approximately 6:43 p.m., deputies responded to the area of Pass-a-Grille Beach after reports of two subjects being swept offshore.


According to detectives, 42-year-old Michael Stephens, was at Pass-a-Grille beach with his daughters, 10-year-old Isabella Stephens, 13-year-old Trinity Stephens, 20-year-old Brittany Stephens, and Brittany’s boyfriend, 20-year-old Jessie Johnson.


Detectives say, Jessie, Brittany, Michael, and Isabella were all in the water when they noticed an outgoing rip current strengthen. 


According to detectives, after assisting Brittany out of the water, Jessie returned to assist Michael and Isabella, but both were too far from shore, and the current had become too strong. During Jessie’s attempt to rescue Michael and Isabella, Trinity called 911 and passed the phone to a passerby.


At approximately 7:57 p.m., deputies assigned to the Flight Unit spotted Michael and Isabella about 1/2 mile off the coast. With assistance from the USCG and St. Pete Fire Rescue, deputies assigned to the Marine Unit were able to rescue both subjects.


Michael and Isabella were transported to a local hospital, where they were later pronounced deceased.


The incident does not appear to be suspicious.


Next of kin has been notified.


The investigation continues.

Posted by David Brenn Monday, April 24, 2023 8:41:00 AM Categories: Marine Unit and Flight Unit

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