A phone tip called in to the Polk County Crime Stoppers Line led detectives to the discovery of a missing woman's body at an abandoned development site in Lake Placid (Highlands County) early this morning (Friday, Sept. 15, 2000).
A male caller phoned in a tip around 10:45 p.m. last night that he had recognized a photo in the media of the man wanted in connection with the disappearance of Lakeland resident Cheryl Burns. He reported that on Tuesday at approximately 11 a.m., he had stopped to help the suspect who had gotten a red Pontiac Grand Am (matching the description of the missing woman's car) stuck in sand in an abandoned development site approximately 2 miles East of US highway 27 in Lake Placid.
Detectives responded to search the location pinpointed by the caller, and a Highlands County K-9 helped locate the body of 52-year-old Cheryl Burns. Burns had been missing since Monday when her roommate called to report that their Lakeland residence had been broken into, and that there were signs of a struggle. Burns' vehicle also was missing. At that time, detectives issued a BOLO for Burns' ex-boyfriend - Forest Snedegar of Lakeland - in connection with her disappearance.
Snedegar was located by Lake Placid Police early Wednesday morning at a local hotel. He had overdosed on drugs and medications. He was transported to a local hospital. He remains at Winter Haven Hospital in a coma. The missing car also was discovered near the hotel.
The investigation is continuing, and charges are pending.
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