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Sheriff's Office Reports Woman's Death as Drug Overdose, Medical Examiner Says Drowning - Questions Remain

DADE CITY (HERNANDO) – On May 1st of this year, a passerby discovered the body of a Minnesota woman floating in the Withlacoochee River, near Reynolds Street and Treiman Blvd. The Hernando County Sheriff's Office launched a death investigation and sent to body to the Medical Examiner's Office in Leesburg to determine the cause of death.

Prior to the discover of the woman's body, Investigators were already on the scene of another death that occurred on Jodi West Drive, which is just a few blocks away from the river. Preliminarily, officials believed that the deaths were unrelated.

On May 27th, the Medical Examiner forwarded their findings to the Sheriff's Office and on June 7th, they posted a statement on the agency's Facebook Page, regarding the cause and manner of death.

HCSO Official Statement: A female body located in water on 05-01-2022, near Reynolds Street and Treiman Boulevard, has been identified as Nicole Timmons DOB/12-05-1978. A preliminary autopsy conducted by state medical examiner's office in Leesburg indicated Timmons died as a result of a drug overdose. No foul play is suspected at this this time.

The only problem with the Sheriff's Office report is that the statement lacked an explanation as to how the victim's body ended up in the river. If she died of a drug overdose, was she doing the drugs in the river and then died; did she fall into the river after dying; or was she placed into the river by someone else after dying? Furthermore, the Sheriff's Office reported the death as a drug overdose, but that's not what the Medical Examiner reported.

The Medical Examiner stated in their official report that the cause of death was drowning, but that she had methamphetamine in her system. The M.E. also ruled the manner of death to be accidental, since there were no obvious signs of trauma to the body; however, the case is still under investigation by the Sheriff's Office.

Additionally, the M.E. says the victim's body was completely nude when they received her. Raising the question, did the victim remove her own clothes before entering the water or did someone else?

Nicole Timmons was laid to rest in her home state of Minnesota on May 16th.


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