TAMPA — Hillsborough sheriff's deputies are investigating the death of a man found in a locked bedroom of an apartment in the University area.
A person living at 1510 E 140th Ave. found the body of a Hispanic man, whom deputies have not yet identified, about 11:30 a.m. Saturday. He appeared to have trauma to his upper body, investigators said.
Carmen Gonzalez, 62, who lives nearby, said she was visiting a friend when a young man came out of the apartment and told her his friend was dead.
"I said, 'Stop joking around. That's nothing to joke about.' But he was serious," she said.
She followed him into the apartment and saw a young man, whom she recognized from the neighborhood, dead on the floor.
"The wounds he had on his face were big and deep. He was pale, lying face up," Gonzalez said.
At the sight of the young man who worked hard and sent money home to his family in his native country, Gonzalez said she began crying.
"He only worked and tried to support his family," she said.
Gonzalez was one of the only English speakers in the neighborhood at the time, so she offered to talk to 911 dispatchers.
Residents of the apartment told detectives they had a party Friday night and an argument broke out among several people, deputies said.
On Saturday morning, one of the five roommates knocked on a locked bedroom door. When no one answered, the roommate forced the door open and found the dead man, deputies said.
The apartment is north of E Fletcher Avenue and east of Interstate 275.