Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Investigative Operations Bureau
Patrol Operations Bureau
-Underwater Search and Recovery Team
District Six Pinellas/Pasco Medical Examiner’s Office
Robert Helphrey (Missing/Recovered)
PINELLAS COUNTY – The Pinellas County Medical Examiner’s Office has positively identified human remains as Robert Helphrey. The remains were located in a vehicle that was found underwater in a pond. Helphrey was reported missing in 2006 in Pinellas County.
On Friday, April 14, 2023, deputies with the Underwater Search and Recovery Team, along with detectives assigned to the Robbery/Homicide Unit, recovered a 2005 Mitsubishi SUV which is registered to Helphrey. The vehicle was found in a retention pond located directly east of the intersection of Old Oak Circle and Belcher Road in Palm Harbor.
Detectives were notified about the vehicle by the Sunshine State Sonar Search team, who had located the vehicle in the pond.
Helphrey was reported missing in 2006 after leaving Peggy O’Neils Bar in Palm Harbor and failing to return home. On May 22, 2006, around 2:05 a.m., Helphrey made a telephone call to a friend asking them to meet at Helphrey’s apartment in Palm Harbor. After leaving Peggy O’Neals, Helphrey never arrived home.
Several searches of ponds and heavily wooded areas were searched for Helphrey and his vehicle, but they were never located.
Next-of-kin has been notified.
The Pinellas County Medical Examiner’s Office is still investigating to attempt to determine a cause and manner of death.
The investigation continues.
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