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MCSO: Tricia Todd mutilated, partial remains in acid-filled barrel

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The Martin County Sheriff's Office will resume the exhumation of the partial remains of Hobe Sound mother and U.S. Air Force veteran Tricia Todd on Friday morning.

Related Link: 'I made a deal with the devil,' says prosecutor in Tricia Todd case

Crime scene technicians unearthed partial remains on Thursday night just hours after Todd's former husband Steven Williams, who is charged with her murder, physically led them to the place where he said he buried her in an acid-filled barrel in a shallow grave in the Hungryland Wildlife Management Area.

Related Article: Ex-husband of Tricia Todd confessed to killing her

The crime scene located off Pratt Whitney Road near Bridge Road is deep in the Florida scrub and swamp.

It is located 19-miles away from Tricia Todd's Hobe Sound home and is just outside the agency's original search area, a 15-mile perimeter near Todd's home.

"(The grave) is nothing more than a simple hole maybe three feet deep. The body was in a container," said Sheriff William D. Snyder at a news conference at the preserve on Thursday evening.

Related Link: Read the plea deal for Steven Williams

The Sheriff said Todd's body was mutilated.

"We have found a container with what we believe to be the partial remains of Tricia Todd."

"We may have more than one site that we have to excavate.. because we have only partial remains."


"We have stopped for the night and will reassemble here tomorrow morning," said a visibly upset Snyder.

The Sheriff described the container as filled with fluid that a Haz-mat team on the scene believed to be acid.

He said DNA testing will confirm whether the remains are, indeed, those of Tricia Todd.

The discovery of Todd's partial remains was a sad and unexpected twist.

The Martin County Sheriff's Office along with the State Attorney's Office had worked out a plea deal with Todd's ex-husband.

In exchange for a plea of 'guilty' and a sentence of 35-years in a state prison, Williams had agreed to lead them to the body.

Todd's parents desperate to have a body to bury had been in talks with sheriff's officials and had approved of the deal.

But, because Williams led detectives to only part of Todd's remains, the Sheriff said the plea agreement could be in jeopardy.

"The family and we entered into a deal to find the body. That deal was not kept," he said.

Related Article: Sheriff: Plea deal may be off the table for ex-husband, Tricia Todd

"We've begun discussions with the State Attorney's Office."

"It remains to be seen what the position of the court will be."

A forensic anthropologist has been called in to help investigate and is expected at the crime scene on Friday morning.

The Sheriff said that on Friday he will demand Williams take detectives to a second burial site.


Williams became a suspect in Todd's murder when he was seen on surveillance video driving her truck after she went missing.

Williams told authorities that she died during a physical altercation during which she hit her head.

The Sheriff believes Todd's murder was premeditated.

Related Article: Family, friends react to discovery of missing mom's remains, ex-husbands plea deal

As of Thursday night, the motive and method of murder were still a mystery, and Sheriff Snyder said they might never be known.

Tricia Todd has been missing since April 27 when she did not pick up her daughter from a babysitter.

Her disappearance launched one of the largest searches in recent Martin County history and involved hundreds of deputies and volunteers who canvassed thousands of acres in search of her.

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