Sunday, April 22, 2018
Public safety

Missing Brandon woman found dead in Valrico neighborhood

VALRICO — Hours after a Brandon woman's body was found in a quiet Valrico neighborhood, detectives arrested a person late Tuesday night, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

Christina Mahzamani, 32, was found with upper-body trauma outside a home at 2707 St. Cloud Oaks Drive about 2:20 p.m., sheriff's spokesman Larry McKinnon said. Her family last saw her about 10 p.m. Sunday. Mahzamani, of 1608 Loriana St., was reported missing at 8:45 p.m. Monday.

A person who was staying at the St. Cloud Oaks Drive home called authorities to report the body. Mahzamani's abandoned car was found a quarter-mile away from the Valrico neighborhood about 2 p.m. Monday.

The Sheriff's Office did not immediately identify the person arrested, who was being interviewed late Tuesday.

Mahzamani was improving her life day by day, said friend Holly Walton.

As her marriage dissolved, Mahzamani poured her energy into building a healthier lifestyle — eating right, working out and losing weight. She was proud of her progress and posted updates on Facebook.

Thanks to inspiration from Walton, she was planning to start taking classes for General Educational Development test.

Mahzamani had her first child as a teenager and focused her attention on raising her three kids. Now that her kids are older — the youngest is 7 — the stay-at-home mom was taking time to improve her life.

"Being that she was that young of a mother, she took on that role and didn't do the things that others did in their late teens or early 20s," Walton said. "Now that she had the time and ability, she was focused on doing some good things for herself and her family."

Walton met Mahzamani through a group she organized for area moms. The 100-plus members of the Brandon Active Moms Group shared memories on Facebook and posted stories about her helpful nature and kind heart.

"Christina was a wonderful mother, a hard worker, a thoughtful friend, always striving to better herself and the lives of her children," Erin Elliott wrote. "She enjoyed taking bike rides and walking the trails at local parks. She was caring and giving — she and her children donated very generously every year to the toy drive with Stuff-A-Bus."

Others described how Mahzamani reached out to them when they were new in town or introduced them to fellow moms.

"Christina always welcomed all of us with open arms, listened when we needed without question and simply always had fun," friend Sherri Pearson wrote on Facebook.

Other friends said she introduced new mothers to new friends and attended activities at Bell Shoals Baptist Church.

"We're all devastated," Walton said. "We feel for the whole family. We'll all miss her."

Walton got a call from a mutual friend Monday that Mahzamani was missing. She called Mahzamani's boyfriend and learned that Mahzamani was missing.

"She told them she would be right back, that she was going to pick up eye drops from another friend," Walton said. "And she just never came back. Obviously that's not like her."

When Mahzamani didn't return, the kids called their grandparents, who picked them up and filed a missing-person report.

Walton said she got a call Tuesday afternoon from Mahzamani's boyfriend, who told her he found the body.

Times researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report. Caitlin Johnston can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 661-2443.

Comments
New Port Richey Woman dies in single-car crash on SR 580

New Port Richey Woman dies in single-car crash on SR 580

A 49-year-old woman died early Saturday in a single-car crash on State Road 580.Kristin Carlin, of New Port Richey, was driving in the eastbound lanes of SR 580 when she failed to round a curve and veered off the road near Charles Avenue, a Clearwate...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Man with multiple gun arrests now accused of fatally shooting Durant High football player

Man with multiple gun arrests now accused of fatally shooting Durant High football player

The first time deputies arrested Samuel Morrissey Jr., he faced charges of possession of marijuana and carrying a concealed firearm. He plead no contest in September, and the judge gave him a break by withholding adjudication. Ten days later, the 20-...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Man who attacked woman and stole her shorts arrested, deputies say

Man who attacked woman and stole her shorts arrested, deputies say

Deputies arrested a man they said tackled a woman in February and removed her shorts before fleeing.Robert Mark Hembree Jr., 31, was arrested late Friday. He faces charges of sexual battery and petit theft.PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Detectives seek man who a...
Published: 04/21/18
Dade City man killed in early morning hit-and-run, police say

Dade City man killed in early morning hit-and-run, police say

A Pasco County man was struck and killed in an apparent hit-and-run early Saturday, police said.Thomas Michael Burdeshaw, 53, who lived on Sundance Drive in Dade City, was hit about 1:45 a.m. on the 36000 block of Blanton Road, police said.Witnesses ...
Published: 04/21/18
Police searching for person who shot a man to death in Largo

Police searching for person who shot a man to death in Largo

CLEARWATER — Police are looking for a person who shot and killed a man late Friday at the Melrose on the Bay apartments on Bolesta Road. Ricardo Guzman, 32, called 911 just before midnight and told the operator he had been shot, said Lt. Randall Chan...
Published: 04/21/18
Motorcyclist dies after crash on Memorial Highway

Motorcyclist dies after crash on Memorial Highway

TAMPA — A motorcyclist driving north on Memorial Highway died after he crashed into a guard rail late Friday, police said."The man failed to negotiate a curve in the road and struck a guard rail," said Lt. Brett Owen. "No other vehicle was involved i...
Published: 04/21/18
Cops used dead man’s finger in attempt to access his phone. It’s legal, but is it okay?

Cops used dead man’s finger in attempt to access his phone. It’s legal, but is it okay?

LARGO — Most people agree what the Largo detectives did at the funeral home was legal.What they diverge on is whether it was appropriate."I just felt so disrespected and violated," said Victoria Armstrong, whose fiance, Linus F. Phillip, was shot and...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Deputies: Woman in road rage incident targeted ... a school bus?

Deputies: Woman in road rage incident targeted ... a school bus?

TAMPA — Deputies are searching for a woman accused of blocking a special needs school bus with her car, getting out and banging and kicking on the bus door until she broke the glass.And there were four children inside, deputies said, as she shouted a...
Published: 04/20/18
St. Pete police search for missing 20-year-old woman

St. Pete police search for missing 20-year-old woman

ST. PETERSBURG — Officers are searching for a 20-year-old woman who they believe to be missing and who could be in danger.Kayla Brandi Boone was last seen at about 11 p.m. Thursday in the 2700 block of Fourth Street S, according to St. Petersburg pol...
Published: 04/20/18

Deputies: 19-month-old child found in New Port Richey pond has died

NEW PORT RICHEY — The 19-month-old child that was found in a pond on Thursday afternoon has died, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.The incident took place at about 12:31 p.m. Deputies and firefighters were called out to a home in the 47...
Published: 04/20/18