Body In Trunk Could Be Missing Tampa Man

The car that arrived at a Tampa police office Tuesday with a body in the trunk belongs to a Hillsborough County man reported missing a day earlier.

Tampa police said Tuesday the missing man, and registered owner of the Mercury Grand Marquis, is Henry Hilliard Shell, 79, of near Carrollwood.

Shell is a real estate developer and insurance executive.

Police have not released the name of the man who drove the car to the police office, nor identified the body that was in the trunk as Shell.

The body, which had been dead for some time, will have to be positively identified by dental records, authorities said.

The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office said the death was unexplained and was awaiting toxicology tests.

Late Tuesday afternoon, a man called 911 to say he was driving to the police District III headquarters with a body in the trunk. He pulled up to the front door and honked, and an officer opened the trunk to reveal the body.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, deputies had gone to Shell’s address on Pinelake Way at 6:10 p.m. Monday to check on his welfare.

A co-worker of Shell’s was concerned that Shell had not been heard from since Nov. 10.

When Shell did not come to work on Monday, the coworker went to Shell’s home but saw no signs of forced entry or anything out of place, deputies said.

The co-worker contacted the Sheriff’s Office, and deputies later found that Shell’s 2004 Grand Marquis was missing.

Shell ran his business, Henry Shell Realty and Insurance, out of a small building at 1309 N Florida Ave. near downtown Tampa.

Neighboring business owners said he worked regular hours and kept to himself.

Shell’s wife died in 2002. Joann Hixon Shell was the daughter of former Tampa Mayor Curtis Hixon.

He grew up in the Citrus Park area and his brother, Charles Shell, owns Shell’s Feed and Garden Supply on N Nebraska Ave.

The brothers made news in 1999 when they won a three-year fight with the County Commission to develop their family’s farm land on the southeast corner of N Dale Mabry Highway and Van Dyke Road. Some neighbors opposed the development, which currently houses a Walgreens store, a McDonald’s restaurant and several other shops.

St. Petersburg Times