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Man found dead in Keys mangroves linked to brutal machete attack

A man found dead in the mangroves of Boot Key Harbor last week is suspected of brutally attacking a woman with a machete the night before his body was discovered. The woman stabbed the man and was taken to a Miami hospital. Police say she likely won’t face charges.
A man found dead in the mangroves of Boot Key Harbor last week is suspected of brutally attacking a woman with a machete the night before his body was discovered. The woman stabbed the man and was taken to a Miami hospital. Police say she likely won’t face charges.

A man found dead in the mangroves of Boot Key Harbor is suspected of viciously attacking a woman with a machete on her boat the night before, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

The man’s identity has not been because his family has not yet been notified. The sheriff’s office released news of his death Friday, but did not confirm until this week that he was the suspect in the brutal attack.

The violence left Crystal Marie Young, 45, with deep cuts to her head, chest, arms, hands and other parts of her body, said Monroe sheriff’s spokesman Adam Linhardt.

Young lives on her 27-foot boat in Boot Key Harbor, a popular spot for liveaboards on the Atlantic Ocean side of the city of Marathon in the Middle Keys. A neighbor who lives on a nearby boat found her around 9:30 p.m. Thursday and called 911. The county’s Trauma Star helicopter ambulance flew her to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

As of Tuesday morning, Young was listed in stable condition, Linhardt said.

The man accused of attacking Young knew her and may have dated her, but they did not live together, Linhardt said. He lived on another vessel in Boot Key Harbor.

Police have not released details of the attack, but detectives say the machete was found aboard Young’s boat, and there were large amounts of blood found throughout the vessel.

After finding Young, deputies were joined by members of the Coast Guard, officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, who conducted a vessel-to-vessel search of Boot Key Harbor looking for Young’s attacker.

That night, they did not find the man, but they did locate his dinghy.

The man’s body was found floating in the mangroves around 10:30 a.m.

The case remains under investigation and no charges have been filed, Linhardt said Tuesday.

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