Now that body is identified – questions rise

The attitude at the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office today is that they have some answers and they have many more questions in the violent murder of Fruit Cove resident 53 year-old Daniel Stuart Somerson.

Somerson’s decomposing body was recovered from his home at 1198 Popolee Road in Fruit Cove last Friday — he was not positively identified until today.

Through the use of dental records, District 23 Medical Examiner Dr. Predrag Bulic was able to release the identification information to Robbery-Homicide detectives earlier today. The preliminary autopsy, completed over the weekend, revealed that the manner of death was “homicide”.

Somerson was known to be secretive and behaved like a recluse, according to those who lived in the neighborhood; however, only a few years ago, Somerson, a former truck driver for Mail Contractors of America Inc., was a very public figure who ran a website that accused the government and the trucking industry of corruption.

The website was so vitriolic that it led the FBI to question him in the matter of the delivery of the biological agent, ricin, to the White House office of then Republican Senate Majority Leader, United States Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee.

St. Johns County Sheriff David B. Shoar said today, “Our detectives are continuing to follow numerous leads in this very violent death and will continue to do so until a suspect is identified and brought to justice.”

In review of newspaper articles and publically available court records, Historic City News learned that the murder victim was at one time a client of and represented by disbarred Tennessee attorney, turned St. Augustine gadfly, Edward A. Slavin, Jr.; whose contempt for government is well known — as is his publication of those feelings on Internet websites — especially when it comes to Republican office holders.

Now that Somerson has been positively identified, we have written to Slavin; giving him the opportunity to clarify if he had already been questioned by law enforcement in connection with this murder; or, if he had been questioned by the FBI in connection with the ricin threat against Tennessee Senator Frist before Somerson was murdered.

After acquaintances had not heard from him for some time, they had deputies dispatched to Somerson’s Popolee Road home shortly after 1:00 p.m. last Friday; just to be sure that everything was alright. Instead, after making a forced entry into the residence, what deputies found was a violent crime scene and the remains of an unidentifiable body.

Detectives are asking Historic City News readers that if they have any information concerning this investigation to contact the Robbery-Homicide Unit of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office at (904) 824-8304.

You can remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a cash reward by calling CrimeStoppers of N.E. Florida at 1-(888) 277-TIPS (8477).

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