A missing woman’s dead body found along a Florida highway is at the center of a tangled homicide that law enforcement is trying to unravel.
Amber Renee Estep, 39, was last seen alive on Jan. 16, when she got out of her husband’s truck during an argument and was reported missing by her mom three days later after suspicious no-shows at work.
A homeowner spotted Estep’s body lying near Pit Bull Lane on Highway 46 in Mims, Florida, on Jan. 20 and called police.
Her husband, Brian Estep, was questioned by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. “Within hours” of questioning, his pickup truck was “fully engulfed in flames,” Sheriff Wayne Ivey said.
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The case is being investigated as a homicide and has generated a lot of buzz on social media after pictures and videos of Brian’s burning truck went viral.
“Now, as many of you have seen on social media, and some of you have even shared with our agency, within several hours after our agents interviewed (Brian) Estep, his pickup truck was found in Port St. John completely engulfed in flames,” Ivey said during a Jan. 25 news briefing.
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Law enforcement and fire marshals are working together to “determine exactly what took place and the cause of the blaze,” Ivey said, but there is no definitive update yet.
Port St. John is about 15 miles northwest of Merritt Island, where the couple argued during their drive home from a medical appointment, Brian told investigators, according to the sheriff.
Brian told police that Amber “requested to be let out of the vehicle,” and he dropped her off near the intersection of Interstate 95 and Highway 50, about 14 miles from where her body was found in Mims, Florida.
That was Jan. 16, which was the last time Amber was reportedly seen alive, Ivey said.
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A homeowner called police about the discovery, and a crime scene was set up.
Detectives are still piecing together how Amber died, but no arrests have been made, Ivey said.
He did not name a suspect or person of interest and said Brian has been cooperating with the investigation.
A GoFundMe that was set up in Amber’s honor said she was a “sweet and loving young woman who was taken from this world before her time.”
“Nobody deserves to go through anything like this,” the organizer, Shawn Leet, wrote. “The family is devastated by this horrific tragedy. Anything truly helps. Thank you and God bless you.”
The sheriff asked anyone with information or who may have seen her last is asked to call the homicide detectives at 321-633-8413.
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