Mullins family wants more answers

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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. - What started as a missing boater case ended with the discovery of Patrick Mullin's body in the Manatee River.  Now eight months later, his family is still looking for answers in a death that's so far been ruled undetermined.

Authorities say there was a shotgun wound to Mullin's head, and an anchor tied around his waist.

"As you can imagine if you lost a very close family member you would want to see every stone over turned, every nook and cranny looked into to determine if this was in fact a crime and if so, who was responsible," said the family's attorney, Andrea Mogensen.

She says there's a rift developing between the Manatee County Sheriff's Office and the Mullins family, who believes the initial investigation was inadequate.

"I think one of the difficulties that arose is that the factual circumstance was not immediately recognizable as potentially a homicide," said Mogensen.  "So evidence simply wasn't preserved from the get-go."

The Sheriff's Office disputes that claim.  "Homicide unit has reviewed the case, so yes we feel that we've done a very thorough investigation," said Dave Bristow, spokesman for the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Mogensen says all her clients want is a better idea of what actually happened.

"Hopefully we can work with the agency to obtain the records they have developed so we can see if there's something we can do to jump start this great, if there's something they can do and we request it hopefully they'll do so," said Mogensen.

The sheriff's office says it will review the case again, as that's what the family has requested.

"We need to get along with the family," said Bristow."  And that's what we're trying to do, because any adversarial relationship it doesn't get you anywhere."

Mullins was a well-liked teacher at Palmetto High School.