It wasn’t an overdose that led to this Bradenton man’s death. Instead, a driver spotted his body while driving along Bishop Harbor Road in Rubonia late Wednesday.
Detectives don’t know whether 33-year-old Christopher Alan Boston was shot along the empty stretch of road or killed elsewhere and dumped there after the fact.
At about 10 p.m. Wednesday, the driver saw a person’s legs sticking out from the grass on the south side of the 7400 block of Bishop Harbor and called 911. Deputies arrived and identified Boston, who was confirmed dead at the scene.
Boston’s death is being investigated as a homicide by the multi-agency Manatee Homicide Investigative Unit.
“We don’t know if he was shot there or dumped there,” sheriff’s office spokesman Dave Bristow said Thursday.
Evidence indicates that Boston likely was not shot along Bishop Harbor Road, but the crime scene has yet to be identified by detectives.
On Thursday morning, a homicide detective was overseeing as two crime scene technicians searched the grass where Boston was found for evidence using metal detectors.
The sheriff’s office is asking for public to come with forward with information they need to solve the case.
“Someone may have seen something in that area and we’re thinking anywhere from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. (on Wednesday) night,” Bristow said. “If you saw anything suspicious, a car stopping, a car moving rather slowly and if you can remember maybe the make or model of the car, give us a call.”
The sheriff’s office had just spoken with Boston on Sunday after he called 911 to his family’s home.
“We’re very familiar with him,” Bristow said Thursday.
When Boston called 911 on Sunday and gave the dispatcher the address to his home in the 2300 block of 33rd Avenue Drive West in Bradenton, he then said “never mind” and hung up, according to an arrest report.
Deputies responded to the home, and when they arrived Boston was standing outside and was visibly bleeding from cuts on his face. Boston told deputies his mother cut him with her nails when she grabbed his face because she got mad during an argument with him because he “was accidentally spitting.”
His mother, Karen Boston, didn’t deny grabbing her son by his face, but she said it was a reaction to her son grabbing her arms in an attempt to restrain her. She was angry because he was disrespecting her, according to the report, and was trying to kick him out.
Boston was uncooperative with deputies, according to the report. His mother was arrested, taken to the Manatee County jail and released on Monday without having to post bond but was placed in the Supervised Release Program.
Christopher Boston was a struggling addict whose addiction had resulted in his own prior arrests.
At about 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 25, 2015, the night before Thanksgiving, a sheriff’s patrol deputy found Boston slumped over behind the wheel of his car in front of a gas pump at a gas station in the 5300 block of 14th Street West in Bradenton.
When the deputy nudged him awake, Boston first claimed he was getting gas but the pump he was parked at was not working and covered with plastic bags.
After the deputy spotted a syringe and a soda can with residue, Boston was asked to get out of the car and read his rights. He then admitted to the deputy that he had shot up heroin.
Boston claimed it was an isolated incident because he was depressed over his father just dying. Boston admitted that he also had Clonazepam pills in the car. Clonazepam is a sedative commonly used to treat seizures, panic disorders and anxiety. Three pills and crack cocaine were found during a search of the car.
Boston was initially placed in the Drug Court Intervention Program in February 2016 but after getting arrested on new drug charges on July 1, 2016, in Sarasota, he was released and convicted on three counts of possession of a controlled substance. He was ordered to serve a year of probation, which ended in October 2017, despite another violation.
The violation was for failing to pay his fines, however. And in May of this year, Boston wrote to the court asking for help because of traffic tickets that were causing his driver’s license to be suspended and he couldn’t pay his fines.
“I was in a bad state in my life, and was on drugs, and trying to rebuild and get back on track,” Boston stated in the handwritten letter. “I have a 3-year-old daughter and I work construction, which requires me to work in a lot of areas and I desperately need my license.”
Boston wrapped up the letter saying, “This mercy will not be in vein, and I greatly appreciate any action in doing so.”
At the time of his 2016 arrest in Sarasota, Boston was pulled over for a traffic stop for driving with a suspended license. During the traffic stop, Sarasota police officers found buprenorphine hydrochloride pills, an opioid pain killer, a syringe and a spoon with what appeared to be a pill that had already been melted down.
Boston later pleaded no contest to charges of possession of a controlled substance, knowingly driving with a suspended driver’s license and possession of drug paraphernalia, and was ordered to serve probation for that case as well.
Detectives are asking anyone who may have seen suspicious activity in the area between 7 and 10 p.m. on Wednesday or know anything in connection to Boston’s death to call the sheriff’s office at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.