Meet Suzanne Beard, the Amateur Photographer Who Discovered the Biscayne Bay Piano

Early this month, Suzanne Beard heard a crazy rumor from her neighbors in Quayside Towers: Someone had abandoned a grand piano in the middle of Biscayne Bay. So on January 8, Beard -- an avid amateur photographer -- headed for a nearby sandbar in a small boat with her husband. The photos she snapped that day have since set off a worldwide Internet firestorm and touched off one of Miami's weirdest mysteries ever: Where the F did that piano come from?

"It's really been wild," Beard tells Riptide.

Beard, a native of St. Augustine, works for a tech company and lives near the waterfront on Biscayne Bay.

On January 3, several neighbors told her they'd seen someone drop the piano off in the middle of the bay.

Beard says he doesn't have any concrete info on why the piano was abandoned, but that several neighbors said they spotted a boat with a gorgeous woman on board and helicopters circling overhead that day.

"They said they'd seen a woman with long hair in a boat and helicopters like a music video was being filmed, but no one knows for sure," Beard says.

Either way, the following Saturday she dropped anchor near the sandbar and clicked away with her Nikon D50.

Beard submitted her best shot -- a gorgeous picture of a flock of pelicans alighting on the waterlogged piano -- to the monthly National Geographic reader-submitted photo contest.

It wasn't until yesterday, though, that the Miami Herald spotted her photo and sent their own team out to shoot the abandoned instrument.

The story went viral overnight, landing in the New York Times, ABC and everywhere in between.

Beard has watched in amazement. All the attention, so far, hasn't boosted her photo in the National Geographic contest; it's currently sitting in 11th place.

"That would be huge for me if I could get published in that magazine," Beard says. "That's been a dream of mine for a long time."

Hook her up! You can vote for her photo here. (And definitely email us if you know where that piano came from.)

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink