Body found in search of Peace River

FOX 4 Staff

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Body found in search of Peace River

By FOX 4 Staff. CREATED Sep 10, 2012 - UPDATED: Sep 11, 2012

ARCADIA, Fla. - A search of the Peace River resulted in the recovery of a woman's body Tuesday, just three miles from where a Tampa area woman fell in near Arcadia on Sunday.

The Arcadia County Sheriff's Department says the drowning stemmed from some horseplay on a pedestrian bridge that spans the river in Morgan Park.

An African-American woman, believed to be from the Tampa area, was standing on the rail of the bridge.  Two men were urging her to jump into the river according to witnesses.

Those same witnesses say that eventually the two playfully pushed her off the rail and into the river.  The woman immediately began to struggle and one of the men, believed to be her friend or boyfriend, jumped in after her.

He too began to struggle and called for help.  The second man, Andrew Skevington, jumped in to try and help. 

The woman eventually grabbed a pylon in the river and by now a boat was in the water and rescued one of the men.  As that happened the woman lost her grip on the pylon and sank into the river.

When both men got to shore they grabbed their belongings and left the park as law enforcement arrived.

Law officers found Skevington at his home and he claimed that the woman had jumped in on her own. He's been arrested for being an accessory to manslaughter after the fact.

Monday afternoon law officers found and arrested Mark Huntley.  He faces a charge of manslaughter.

Law enforcement has not identified the body that was recovered nor have they released the identity of the suspected drowning victim.