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Netflix's "Unsolved Mysteries" highlights a Manatee County case

"Body in the Bay" covers the death of Pat Mullins in 2013
Posted at 4:36 AM, Nov 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-03 04:36:30-04

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — A case involving a Manatee County teacher is getting nationwide attention.

Netflix is featuring a case from 2013 involving Pat Mullins on an episode of “Unsolved Mysteries.” The episode called, “Body in the Bay” looks into the circumstances surrounding his death.

Pat’s widow, Jill Mullins, is hoping the episode brings new attention to her husband’s case.

“I am beyond thrilled. I’ve tried to keep this in the news over the years. I always put posters around and I had bus benches for a while. Right now, I’ve got a big billboard out there on I-75,” said Jill.

She had a billboard installed on I-75 northbound near Ellenton to encourage people to watch Volume 3, Episode 7 of “Unsolved Mysteries.”

"The ways to keep it alive in people's minds are getting more and more challenging as the years go by. It is an amazingly wonderful opportunity to put it in front of everybody and I'm sure everybody knows something," she said.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office ruled Pat’s death as “undetermined.”

Jill said at first, detectives told her it was a suicide.

“I tried to understand the police and medical examiner’s point of view that this was a suicide, okay, so if this is a suicide, what are the signs? I just came up with a long list of why it isn’t a suicide. I really couldn’t find anything to support that notion.”

Jill said her husband’s boat was discovered at the mouth of the Manatee River. Days later, his body was recovered with an anchor tied to his waist and he had suffered a gunshot wound to the head.

She said she pushed for answers for years. Her husband was an experienced boater. Pat was also a librarian at Palmetto High School. She recalls the Sunday he never returned home.

“Helicopters were searching overhead. I kept getting questioned over and over again about our finances, our marriage, anything that could possibly be wrong,” she said.

There is a $20,000 reward being offered for any information that solves this case.

“Imagine if this was your loved one, you really just need answers and my husband wanted to be a grandfather so much. They’re two grandchildren now. He missed out on this. There’s so much he missed out on and the grandchildren, the children and I need answers,” said Jill.

Anyone with any information on the case is asked to contact the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.