Lightsey death ruled homicide

Melissa Lee Lightsey
Historic City News has received word from the St. Johns County Medical Examiner’s Office that the death of Vilano Beach swimmer Melissa Lee Lightsey was in deed a homicide.

Benjamin C. Lightsey, the victim’s husband, last reported that the 36 year-old victim was swimming in chest deep water near Surfside Park around midnight Sunday morning. Lightsey had attended a wedding reception Saturday night.

Sheriff’s media relations officials reported that trauma to the body was noticed on the recovered body and appeared to have possibly been caused by a passing motorboat. Soon thereafter, an announcement was made that the circumstances surrounding Lightsey’s death were “suspicious”.

Today, we have received word from District 23 Medical Examiner Terrence Steiner that after conducting an autopsy, it has been determined that the death of Melissa Lee Lightsey was not due to saltwater drowning.

The cause of death was trauma to the head face and neck. The manner of death is homicide.

It was also determined that there was no gross evidence of sexual assault.

The “boating injuries” consisted of three postmortem propeller-type lacerations to the posterior body.

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