St. Petersburg Police Press Release

Chief of Police
1301 First Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33705

(727) 893-7550


For Immediate Release
Report number: 1997-043484
Date of original release: 11-18-22

New DNA Analysis Solves Cold Case

Release posted on 11-18-22 at 7:32 a.m.

The St. Petersburg Police Dept. Cold Case Unit was able to bring closure to the family of a 1997 murder victim, Michael Scheumeister. Please see summary below. Photos of the victim and the suspect are attached. Media interested in interviewing the Cold Case Detective on this case, please contact Yolanda Fernandez in the Public Information Office 727-742-9970.

In the early morning of August 14th, 1997, Michael Scheumeister was found dead near Mirror Lake Library, 280 5th Street North. Scheumeister was found outside, lying on his back with his pant pockets turned inside out, He had cashed his paycheck earlier that day and his money and wallet were missing. This indicated that robbery was the motive. The Medical Examiner's report determined that the cause of death was due to blunt force trauma to the head and neck.

Investigators learned that Scheumeister was out at a bar having a couple drinks with Patricia Morris (DOB 12/27/1950) the prior evening. During an interview with a detective, Morris admitted to having drinks with the victim that night and leaving in a taxi together but stated the two went their separate ways after being dropped off by the taxi.

On May 18th, 2016, a criminal history report of Patricia Morris indicated she had an extensive history of prostitution, battery on law enforcement officers and narcotic offenses. It also indicated that Morris died on September 19th, 2010 in Hillsborough County.

On March 23rd, 2022 detectives retrieved Mr. Scheumeister's pants from Property and Evidence and submitted them to the Pinellas County Forensics Lab for DNA re-evaluation. On November 2nd, 2022 detectives received a response from the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) that the DNA found on the inside of the front and rear pant pockets belonged to Patricia Morris.

Based on the recent DNA evidence and prior investigations, this case is now considered closed with the death of the offender. The victim's brother was notified.

Our cold case detectives dedicate their time and experience to taking a fresh look at old unsolved cases. With advances in technology and new information they can bring justice for the victims and closure to their families.

The St. Petersburg Police Dept. would like to thank the Pinellas County Forensics Lab for its assistance in closing this case.

Michael Scheumeister

Michael Scheumeister

Patricia Morris

Patricia Morris

St. Petersburg Police Media Relations - (727) 893-7550
YOLANDA FERNANDEZ - Public Information Officer