TAMPA — In a span of less than 24 hours, two men were attacked and killed inside their homes in unrelated incidents, leaving Tampa police and Hillsborough County sheriff's detectives looking for two killers.
The first attack happened sometime early Sunday when Juan Ordonez, whom neighbors knew as "Papi," was killed in his home at 1317 W Arch St. in the West Riverfront area of Tampa.
A landlord found Ordonez dead early Sunday, police said. Authorities released few other details, saying only that Ordonez, 51, died from "upper body trauma," and that there were no immediate suspects in the case.
But the man's neighbors, who saw the police response after Ordonez's body was found, said they heard he had been stabbed to death. His wallet was also missing, they said.
"They cut his neck," said Tirea Hannah, 27, who lives across the street. "Somebody must have known that he had a lot of money in there."
Ordonez brought in extra cash selling various items, Hannah said. He kept it in a big bowl he carried.
"He loved kids," said Renaldo Longstreet, 33, who lives with Hannah. "He would give kids free chips, soda, candy and stuff. He was cool. Always nice. Always had a smile on his face."
About 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Hannah and Longstreet heard a commotion and stepped outside.
"When the ambulance got here, they didn't do no work on him. They just said, 'He's gone.' " Longstreet said. "Basically … I think it was a robbery."
A home next door to Ordonez's house has security cameras, Longstreet said. The owners gave the footage to police.
Neighbors came together to pray and sing Monday night during a vigil for Ordonez. Prayer candles lined the curb at the corner of N Willow Avenue and W Union Street, a few blocks from Ordonez's home. The crowd of about 50, including many children from the neighborhood, held small white candles in the air, shouting "For Papi!"
The second attack happened about 2 a.m. Monday. Hillsborough sheriff's deputies received a 911 call from Montierra Apartment Homes, a gated complex at 14415 Delores Court, near Bearss Avenue and N 22nd Street, authorities said.
When deputies arrived, they found 50-year-old Moises Alvarez-Hernandez with multiple stab wounds. He was taken to a hospital, where he later died.
Late Monday morning, sheriff's officials announced they were seeking an unidentified woman who was in the area of the apartment at time of the stabbing. She might have information about the killing, authorities said.
The woman is described as white and in her mid- to late 30s with blond hair in a ponytail. She was wearing a black shirt and pink shorts, officials said.
Anyone with any information about the death of Alvarez-Hernandez is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200. Anyone with information regarding Ordonez's is asked to call Tampa police at (813) 231-6130. Tips can also be provided anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 873-8477 or crimestopperstb.com.
Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Dan Sullivan can be reached at (813) 226-3386 or [email protected]