Police searching for missing Jax Beach woman find body

Suzanne Carlson, 35, last seen knocking on doors at 3 a.m. Thursday

By Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - Officers found the body of a woman Saturday evening in the Intracostal Waterway near J Turner Butler Boulevard during the search for a missing Jacksonville Beach woman.

Much of the day, the search for Suzanne Carlson, 35, focused inside the gated Sanctuary neighborhood along the ICW. 

One resident of the community saw the intensive search and knew police had found something. 

"There was a helicopter hovering very low over a certain area, just north of the JTB bridge," Richard Hanus said. "We saw a blue flashing light. We presumed it was a police boat. It made us stop and look. We've been saying our prayers that everything is OK."

Detectives did not confirm if the body was that of Carlson, only saying the body was taken to the Duval County Medical Examiner's Office for positive identification and to determine the cause of death.

"I pray it's not her," one neighbor said Saturday night. "I hate they found something.I really pray it's not her."

Police said Carlson was seen on surveillance video about 3 a.m. Thursday on Sanctuary Way South.

"We have her on video in the neighborhood, knocking on doors," Jacksonville Police Chief Pat Dooley said Friday. "She was very irrational. They couldn't understand what she was saying, so they called police."

When one of those neighbors called 911, Dooley said, Carlson was gone by the time officers arrived. Hours later, investigators said her fiancé arrived home to find the front door unlocked and the water running in the shower.

Carlson is 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 100 pounds. She has blond hair and green eyes. She was last seen wearing black leggings with a blue top and long sweater.

Dooley said Carlson has only lived in the area since October. He said her phone is turned off. Her car was still parked in the driveway 24 hours after she was last seen.

During a Friday afternoon news briefing, Dooley also that there was something going on in Carlson’s life.

"There are indicators to us that there could possibly be some issues that she wouldn't have normally," Dooley said. "It’s out of her normal behavior and so, I can’t get into the details of it, but we think that there could be some problems here."

News4Jax obtained a police report detailing a service call to Carlson's home earlier this month. On Dec. 4, officers conducted a welfare check after she missed work twice. The report points out that Carlson was recently set to be married but the groom canceled "the wedding at the last minute."

News4Jax spoke with several neighbors who said they have never seen Carlson before, but are praying that she's found safe. 

The Jacksonville Beach Police Department had about 30 officers searching in Carlson's neighborhood Friday, walking through wooded areas as a helicopter searched from above. Jacksonville Sheriff's Office K-9s and Neptune Beach police officers also assisted in the search.

Dooley said they were also using marine units to search ponds around the area, as well as the Intracoastal Waterway, which is within walking distance.

Dooley said Carlson's family will be coming in from out of town.

"I pray for them," a neighbor said Friday night. "I pray for the whole family and the rest of our neighborhood. It's been a crazy couple of days."

Anyone with information about Carlson's whereabouts is asked to call the Jacksonville Beach Police Department at 904-247-6339.

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