Heather Lynn Mayo called the Pinellas Sheriff’s Office to ask deputies to come kick her boyfriend, who had just been released from jail, out of their place, reports the St. Petersburg Times.
But it was Mayo who ended up leaving in handcuffs, authorities said, after her boyfriend revealed that the 33-year-old mother was the driver in a fatal hit-and-run crash 10 months ago in Pinellas Park.
Mayo’s own call to authorities ended up implicating her in the Feb. 4 death of Jeannie Fisher, who died three days before her 51st birthday.
Fisher was walking east across northbound 66th Street N when she was hit and fatally injured in the center lane near the 9700 block, according to police.
All Pinellas Park police knew then was that Fisher was struck by a Ford truck, possibly an SUV, that lost its passenger side mirror and front turn signal.
But the case went cold for 10 months — until Monday evening.
Mayo called deputies to remove her boyfriend, Robert Worden, according to the Sheriff’s Office. He had just gotten out of the county jail after serving 40 days for obtaining property with a worthless check. Mayo said she was scared of him. Worden, 34, said he just wanted to see his 7-year-old daughter.
The boyfriend agreed to leave the Palm Harbor apartment. But as Worden walked out with the deputies, he pointed to a damaged black 1997 Ford Ranger in the apartment complex parking lot and said he had a story to tell them.
Worden told deputies that Mayo borrowed a neighbor’s pickup on Feb. 4 to drive to Pinellas Park to buy marijuana, authorities said. That night, Worden told deputies, he said Mayo texted him that she had struck a deer.
Then, weeks later, Worden told deputies that Mayo broke down and told him that she had actually hit someone on 66th Street N. Mayo knew the person was dead, according to Worden, but was too scared of going to jail to stop.
The pedestrian violated the driver’s right of way that night, according to police. But under Florida law, police said, the driver had a legal obligation to stop and identify herself.
After Worden told deputies what he knew Monday night, the Sheriff’s Office called the Pinellas Park Police Department, which sent officers to Palm Harbor to question Mayo. She confessed, according to police, and was arrested.
When Pinellas Park police inspected the Ford Ranger they got their second break in the case that night: the neighbor’s truck was still damaged and still missing parts. No repairs were made in the 10 months after the fatal crash.
“We found pieces of the turn signal and the passenger side mirror at the scene (of Fisher’s death),” said Pinellas Park police Sgt. Brian Unmisig, “and they matched the parts that the vehicle was missing.”
Fisher was born in Indianapolis and raised in Indiana, Kentucky and South Africa, according to her obituary. She graduated from Largo High School in 1978 and had one son, Taylor. She was a waitress who enjoyed the beach and solving crossword puzzles. Her family could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Mayo was also arrested on a warrant for driving with a suspended or revoked license. According to state records, her license was suspended in 2009 and 2010 for failing to pay traffic fines and last year she was cited for DUI.
She was booked into the Pinellas jail, where she was being held Tuesday in lieu of $52,250 bail.