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Tim Howard
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THE CHARLOTTE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE DIVE TEAM WAS SEEN SEARCHING A CANAL IN PORT CHARLOTTE YESTERDAY, BUT THEY WEREN’T TALKING.  DEPUTIES ENTERED THE CANAL BETWEEN VENANGO ROAD AND FLAMINGO AVENUE, JUST OFF OF US 41 IN THE MORNING AND WERE THERE FOR SEVERAL HOURS.  THE CANAL HAPPENS TO BE BEHIND THE HOME OF 30 YEAR OLD JOSEPH SALMON, WHO ALONG WITH 28 YEAR OLD MERCEDES STINER OF VENICE, ARE IN JAIL ON FELONY MURDER CHARGES.  40 YEAR OLD JOSEPH BENNETT WAS FOUND SHOT IN THE PARKING LOT OF THE KNIGHTS INN MOTEL ON TAMIAMI TRAIL IN PORT CHARLOTTE LAST MONTH.  AUTHORITIES SAID THE DEATH WAS RELATED TO COCAINE TRAFFICKING, AND THEY ALSO SAID WHEN THE ARREST WAS MADE THAT THE GUN USED IN THE HOMICIDE HAD NOT BEEN RECOVERED.  SHERIFF’S SPOKESMAN BOB CARPENTER SAID WEDNESDAY HE DIDN’T KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THE DIVERS WERE SEARCHING FOR OR IF THEY FOUND ANYTHING.  HE DID SAY THEY WERE DOING AN OPEN ARTICLE SEARCH FOR A STILL-OPEN CASE.