A woman was arrested on a second-degree murder charge Friday after a joint operation between the Sumter County and Brevard County sheriff’s offices.
On Dec. 30, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the Melbourne Police Department and informed of an active death investigation occurring within their jurisdiction. The preliminary investigation revealed that the dismembered body of a man had been discovered inside of a camper trailer located at Wickham Park Campground in Melbourne. The cause of death was subsequently determined to be homicide due to blunt force trauma. And the medical examiner had identified the murder victim as 55-year-old Anthony Franklin Mitchell.
The investigation showed that Mitchell had moved to the Lake Panasoffkee RV Village in Sumter County this past August and was living with his 47-year-old girlfriend, Penny Rebecca Pospisil. Mitchell’s family last spoke with him this past Aug. 22 and it was shortly after that time that detectives learned that Pospisil had started informing friends, family and neighbors that Mitchell had passed away. The investigation also revealed that persons within the Lake Panasoffkee RV Village noticed a foul odor coming from Mitchell and Pospisil’s camper trailer.
Melbourne Police detectives learned that Pospisil had moved the camper trailer from Lake Panasoffkee to Melbourne near the end of September. Upon arrival there, witnesses reported a foul odor coming from the camper trailer. And no witnesses at the Melbourne campground ever reported seeing Mitchell.
Melbourne Police officers obtained a search warrant for the camper trailer after being called to Wickham Park on Dec. 30 for a well-being check, since no one had seen Pospisil and her lot fee was overdue. Upon their arrival, officers noted a foul odor coming from the trailer and ultimately discovered Mitchell’s dismembered body in the advanced stages of decomposition.
The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office and Melbourne Police Department worked closely together throughout the investigation and it was ultimately determined that Mitchell’s murder occurred around Aug. 23 in Lake Panasoffkee, the report says.
The investigation also revealed that in the time since Mitchell’s death, Pospisil dismembered his body inside the camper trailer and undertook significant steps to cover up the crime, as well as the decomposing remains left behind, the report says.
On Friday, Sumter County sheriff’s detectives worked in a coordinated effort with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office to conduct surveillance on a home believed to be Pospisil’s residence. During that surveillance, deputies arrested Pospisil on a Sumter County warrant when she exited the residence. She was then charged with second-degree murder and abuse of a dead human body. She was booked into the Brevard County Jail and held without bond.
The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information regarding this investigation to contact Det. John Knight at (352) 569-1600.