Sarasota Builder Dies Mysteriously While Lobster Diving in Haulover Beach

Miami-Dade homicide detectives are investigating the death of a wealthy Sarasota building contractor found dead on the ocean floor this morning. Daniel Robert Pochedley went missing while diving for lobster near Haulover Beach just before 11 a.m. After a caller reported an abandoned boat to marine patrol, officers found him about one mile away from shore. He was 17 feet below sea level.

Pochedley celebrated his 48th birthday last week. Public records show the contractor owned four pieces of property in Sarasota County. One building is worth more than $1 million and overlooks The Grand Canal in Sarasota Beach.

Records also show Pochedley's wife filed a domestic violence charge against him in December 2004, a year after they were married. A judge ordered a temporary injunction and disposed the case. The two never divorced.

Pochedley is one of at least three divers who has died in South Florida in the past two days. The lobster mini season ends at midnight tonight, and has attracted divers and snorkelers from around the state.

Cause of death has not yet been determined in Pochedley's case.

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Natalie O'Neill
Contact: Natalie O'Neill