Police found knife, zip ties in stepson's truck

Herald Staff WritersJuly 11, 2007 

— As authorities continued to scour various woods and ponds throughout Manatee County for 60-year-old Susan Fast, details were released of what was found inside her stepson's truck shortly after her disappearance more than a week ago.

Handcuffs, a knife and zip ties were among the items found in the pickup of Thomas Fast, who detectives say is a suspect in the case.

Manatee County Sheriff's detectives continue to review evidence as part of the search for the East Manatee woman who has been missing since June 29. They hope to also complete their search efforts for Fast by week's end, Sgt. Pete Rampone said.

According to a search warrant affidavit filed at the Manatee County Courthouse, detectives also found a pawn shop receipt, deposit slips and a laundry bag with dirty clothes inside Thomas Fast's 2006 white Chevrolet pickup truck, found in a parking lot in the 7200 block of 55th Avenue in East Manatee the day after Susan Fast disappeared.

The warrant also revealed detectives found three checkbooks, two checkbook registers, a hair and five other unidentified receipts.

Susan Fast's husband, Bruce Fast, called authorities just after midnight June 30 to report he'd come home to the couple's house in the 7500 block of Birds Eye Terrace to find his wife and her 2008 Lexus sport utility vehicle missing. He also noticed items out of place and stains that appeared to be dried blood, according to auth- orities.

The search warrant revealed Bruce Fast said his son, Thomas Fast, was mentally unstable and that he suspected he may be involved in his wife's disappearance.

At about 3 p.m. June 30, detectives located Fast's SUV at the corner of Sixth Street East and 11th Avenue East in Bradenton. The vehicle was missing its license plate.

A witness told authorities he'd seen a man get out of the SUV with two black duffle bags, according to the warrant. The man removed the license plate from the SUV and fled the area on foot, the witness said.

At about 3:40 p.m., authorities found Thomas Fast's pickup truck in East Manatee. While deputies were investigating, Thomas Fast arrived in a taxi. According to the search warrant, he was barefoot and carrying two black duffle bags.

When he told authorities he was carrying a .22-caliber handgun in his duffel bag, they arrested him for carrying a concealed firearm.

Thomas Fast on Tuesday remained incarcerated at the Manatee County jail on $100,000 bond on the concealed weapon charge. He previously had not obtained an attorney for the charge, but according to court records filed Tuesday, he has announced he is seeking the appointment of a public defender.

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