Police arrest woman accused of setting body on fire in St. Pete alley last month

Cree Worley, left, and Heather Olmstead, right(Courtesy: St. Pete Police Department)

Police have arrested a Pinellas Park woman accused of setting a dead body on fire in a St. Pete alley last month, causing severe damage to the remains.

The incident happened around 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 18, when fire crews responded to an alley behind the 2900 block of Emerson Avenue South. Upon putting out the flames, firefighters discovered a "severely burned" body inside the dumpster.

It took several days for authorities to identify the body due to the extent of the burns. Four days later, police said the body was identified as 31-year-old Heather Elizabeth Olmstead. County records show she had lived in Gulfport and Clearwater, and was most recently described as a transient in December 2021.

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According to arrest documents obtained by FOX 13, investigators found evidence at the scene as well as security camera footage that showed a white Ford pickup truck pulling away from the burning trash container.

Additional surveillance footage nearby captured the truck's license plate, which was registered to Julie Curran. That discovery ultimately led detectives to Curran's daughter, 30-year-old Cree Worley.

On Tuesday, St. Pete police arrested Worley and charged her with abuse of a dead body. She is being held at the Pinellas County Jail on $20,000 bond.

Authorities have not released Olmstead's exact cause of death.