Who Killed Tracey McClelland? New Details On The Unsolved Murder Of The Tampa Woman

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Who Killed Tracey McClelland? New Details On The Unsolved Murder Of The Tampa Woman

She was killed in Tampa 12 years ago, and her murder remains unsolved. Who killed Tracey McClelland?

Tracey McClelland’s body was found on March 6, 2007, after patrons on North 71st Street in Tampa, Florida, found her remains sticking out of the ground in front of a business. Patrons called the police immediately, who subsequently called the homicide squad.

Despite the immediacy of their reaction, however, Tracey McClelland’s murder remains unsolved.

Let’s look at what we know about the murder to see if we can find out who, ultimately, may have had a motive to kill her.

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1. She was buried in what investigators dubbed a “shallow grave.”

According to News Channel 8, Tracey McClelland was buried in a very shallow grave, which is why her body parts were sticking out from the ground.

Detective Gary Sandel, who was one of the first people on the scene, said his investigative squad immediately thought that one of the employees at the business were considered “suspects,” but he was able to quickly eliminate them because they were so cooperative.

"I believe the company was pretty compliant right out of the shoot, they gave us an employee list. There were several detectives that worked that angle of it with interviewing basically every employee there," he told the outlet. "There were probably five or six of us. I think the whole squad initially went out on it, but there were five or six of us that worked on it for several weeks."

2. Her official cause of death was “upper body trauma.”

According to My Fox Tampa Bay, Tracey McClelland’s official cause of death involved blunt force trauma to her upper body.

Tracey’s sister, Lisa Whidden, is begging the public to help investigators crack the case.

“Anything that we can do to help the police officers and the detectives in this case, we’re willing to help them. We don’t want to interfere with their case but we’re willing to do whatever it takes to solve this case,” she told the outlet.

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Tracey McClelland's murder remains unsolved.

3. Tracey McClelland’s sister believes drugs played a role in her death.

According to the local NBC affiliate, WFLA-TV, Lisa Whidden believes that her sister’s drug addiction contributed to her murder. When Tracey and Lisa’s brother committed suicide, according to Lisa, Tracey became addicted to prescription painkillers — and, later, harder “street” drugs.

"She told me it numbed her feelings, it numbed her emotions, so she was masking her pain,” Whidden told the outlet.

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4. Her murder remains unsolved.

Despite the best efforts of the Tampa police department, and of the homicide division, Tracey McClelland’s murder remains unsolved.

According to WFLA-TV, several volunteers, including Peter Jaug, have come together to try to help the police solve the case.

“We basically decided that the resources here in Tampa, unfortunately, are stretched a little too thin. We got only one police officer working cold cases,” he said. “It’s wrong for anything like that to happen in your community. You want to know if you have a sick person running around out there, you want him of the street.”

Anyone with any information about the case is invited to contact the Tampa Police Department at (813) 276-3571.

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. Find her online at www.bernadettegiacomazzo.com and www.longlivetheuprising.com.