Bradenton Beach Police say they will re-open the death investigation of a Bay area woman.
Sheena Morris, 22, was found hanging in a Bradenton Beach hotel room on New Year's Day in 2009.
The Bradenton Beach Police Department conducted the initial investigation. At first the medical examiner ruled her death a suicide but the manner of death as later changed to "undetermined."
Morris' mom, Kelly Osborn, says she's never believed her daughter killed herself. Osborn has been fighting to get the case reopened for years, doing everything she could in her search for answers.
"I didn't know I was going to learn the process of how to exhume a body, how to get all these reports, how to do surveillance, how to get people to talk that you don't even know," Osborn said.
In September, a special FDLE panel reviewed the case. On Friday, the FDLE came out with its list of roughly 15 recommendations for the Bradenton Beach Police, including the possibility of more lab work, more interviews, and an FDLE agent working on the case.
Osborn is calling this a victory but even with the FDLE’s involvement, the Bradenton Beach Police Chief continues to stand behind his department’s original findings that Morris' death was a suicide.
"When we go through this process, they'll be helping us throughout this until we hopefully get this resolved and closed," said Sam Speciale, chief of the Bradenton Beach Police Department.
He calls these latest developments more of an administrative process, saying that the case has taught the department and will help them in future cases.
"When we go through those recommendations and we put some of those recommendations into practice, we'll be able to do that on other cases," Speciale said.
And that may be the only thing both Speciale and Osborn can agree on.
"I'm happy about that because I don't want another family going through what we've been through," Osborn said.
She said these recommendations are a step in the right direction.
"I want justice for Sheena," Osborn said. "It’s justice, she says, that she will never stop trying to get.
A representative from the FDLE told Bay News 9 that everything is now in the hands of the Bradenton Beach Police Department, along with the agent from the FDLE. There’s no word right now on a time frame as to when those roughly 15 recommendations will be implemented.
Once the investigation is complete, it will then be turned over to the Manatee County State Attorney’s Office.