Despite completed autopsy, cause of death of teen found in St. Petersburg lake still undetermined

Jarvis Deliford’s body was found in a lake, surrounded by alligators. Since that day in July, his family continued to wonder what happened to the 16-year-old.

The recently released autopsy report gives few answers, but the case is far from closed.

The 8-page report describes the condition of Jarvis Deliford's body after it was found July 4 in Lake Maggiore. Despite the detailed document, the question of how he died remains unknown.

The St. Petersburg Police Department said it hoped the autopsy report would help officers conclude their investigation and bring closure to Jarvis' family. 

"With the cause of death being inconclusive, we don’t know how he died. We are kind of in the same position with our investigation. With we don’t know what happened," St. Pete police spokesperson Yoland Fernandez said..

Five days before his body was found, Jarvis was released from juvenile detention, wearing an ankle monitor, but he cut it off and jumped out of his bedroom window. 

No one heard from or saw him until his body was discovered.

"At this point, we don’t have evidence that he died of homicide and that makes this case even more difficult," Fernandez said. 

At a memorial in July, his mother Regina Wooten said her son had his issues but was working for a better life. 

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"My son held me. I held him. He asked me for his forgiveness. I asked him for my forgiveness and that’s all he kept saying. 'I just want to get out of the system. I want this behind me.' And that’s the last me and my baby shared," she said. 

Regina wants to know what happened to her son. 

The autopsy report details what alligators may have done to Jarvis' body. It also shows levels of methamphetamine in his system. The medical examiner's report lists Jarvis' cause of death as "undetermined."

"If we received any tips that would be helpful as to what was happening in his life in those last few hours or couple of days before we found him dead, that would be helpful in our investigation," said Fernandez. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the St. Petersburg Police Department at 727-893-7780.