Third person arrested after woman’s body found in burning St. Pete dumpster

Three people have been arrested in connection with the burned body of Heather Olmstead. 

A third person accused of burning a woman in a St. Pete dumpster in August has been arrested. 

Jerrish Stephens, 42, has been charged with abuse of a dead body. 

His arrest comes about a week after a mother and daughter were charged in the death of 31-year-old Heather Elizabeth Olmstead. 

Olmstead’s burning body was discovered just after midnight on August 18 by firefighters who were called to put out a dumpster fire in the alley behind Emerson Avenue South near 29th Street.

Once the flames were out, it took four days for authorities to identify the severely burned body as Olmstead. 

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Surveillance video has played a key role in this case. 

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.

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

Worley was arrested and charged with abuse of a dead body. Curran, 64, was arrested two days later on the same charges. 

According to arrest reports, Stephens told police on the night of the fire, Worley and Curan went to his home to buy crack cocaine. 

Another person, who drove a black GMC, was also present at the time of the drug deal.

Approximately 15 minutes before the fire,  Stephens can be seen on video walking to the white and the black truck and placing a gas can in the bed of the black truck, according to an arrest report.

Jerrish Stephens mugshot courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. 

Additional video footage shows the black truck following the white truck east on Fairfield Avenue two minutes before the fire is lit in the trash can. 

Police say Stephens admitted to putting the gas can in the truck.  

County records show Olmstead had lived in Gulfport and Clearwater, and was most recently described as a transient in December 2021.

Officials have not released Olmstead’s cause of death.