A third plaque will feature Palm Beach County Sheriff’s corrections officer Fernandas Jones, his 70-year-old stepfather, Willis Bell, and Jones’ 9-year-old son Jayden. The three drowned when their boat capsized off Martin County on April 10. A cousin, Robert Stewart, survived.
Palm Beach County Commissioners and families of the lost mariners will gather next Monday at the Manatee Lagoon, at the Florida Power & Light Co. plant in Riviera Beach, for a dedication ceremony, the county said.
Authorities in Martin County will be back out today searching for the body of the 30-year-old hospice nurse, whose ex-husband has confessed to killing her but so far won’t say where he put her, beyond indicating a wooded area somewhere around Hobe Sound. Sheriff’s deputies already have searched the area for nearly a month without result.
Can a person still be convicted of a murder without a body?
That legal issue came into play in Palm Beach County in what still is regarded the county’s crime of the century: the assassination of Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Curtis Eugene Chillingworth and his wife Marjorie.
Former municipal judge Joseph Peel, was convicted, mostly on the testimony of one of the two hit men, of ordering the murder. The Chillingworths were seized from their oceanfront Manalapan cottage on June 15, 1955, taken by boat out to sea, bound, and tossed overboard. Their bodies never were found. Florida State University criminal justice professor Dale Nute, who rubbed elbows with some of the Chillingworth investigators at the forerunner to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, said he believed it was in fact the first murder conviction obtained in Florida without a body.