Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Patrol Operations Bureau
-Marine & Environmental Lands Unit
Investigative Operations Bureau
-Robbery & Homicide Unit
-Crimes Against Children Unit
United States Coast Guard
St. Pete Beach Fire Rescue
Michael Stephens (Deceased)
Isabella Stephens (Deceased)
Trinity Stephens (Non-Injured)
Brittany Stephens (Non-Injured)
Jessie Johnson (Non-Injured)
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.
Non Emergency Line: (727) 582-6200 | In an Emergency call 911ADA info