Monday, January 22, 2018
Public safety

Deputies investigating burglary find body in Valrico home

VALRICO — Deputies discovered a dead man in the bedroom of a home while investigating an apparent burglary Tuesday.

At about 4:20 p.m., deputies were called to 1915 Erin Brooke Drive to investigate what appeared to be a burglary, officials said. Upon searching the home, investigators found Samuel Lee Partin, 61, dead in a bedroom.

It was not clear how Partin died. Officials said there was trauma to the body. They needed to use fingerprints to confirm his identity.

The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office will perform an autopsy to determine how Partin died.

Linda Partin, Samuel's wife, saw broken glass on the floor of their two-story beige home when she arrived home with one of her adult sons Wednesday evening. She thought the house had been burglarized and called 911, officials said.

It does not appear a burglary actually took place. Detectives do not believe the crime was random, and said the victim was likely known to his attackers.

The couple lived in the Brentwood Hills house with at least one of their sons, said Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Debbie Carter.

No suspects have been named.

Partin has an arrest record dating back to 1971 that includes several charges of cocaine and paraphernalia possession, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records.

He was most recently charged with violating the terms of his probation in August.

Neighbor Rosa Diaz, 67, said she didn't see or hear anything unusual until deputies arrived.

"A neighbor told me that they found someone dead inside," she said. "I couldn't believe it."

She said her neighbors were friendly, always saying hello.

David Caldwell, 27, who lives across the street from the Partins, said nothing like this has ever happened in the area.

"It's a quiet, peaceful neighborhood," he said.

Marissa Lang can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3386.

Comments

Male bicyclist struck, killed by vehicle in Pinellas Park

PINELLAS PARK — A male bicyclist was struck and killed by a vehicle on U.S. 19 on Monday night, according to Pinellas Park police.The incident took place at about 8:30 p.m. along the 8000 block of U.S. 19 N, near the Walmart Supercenter.The driver wa...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Baby, 11 months, dies in reported drowning at Brandon apartments’ pool

BRANDON — An 11-month-old girl’s parents said their daughter drowned in an apartment complex pond Monday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The infant and her parents were not publicly identified by the Sheriff’s Office. The paren...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Police release photos of men sought for questioning in Florida mall blast

Police release photos of men sought for questioning in Florida mall blast

LAKE WALES — Police say two devices ignited inside a mall in central Florida on Sunday do not appear to be an act of terrorism.According to the FBI, bomb technicians examining the contents of a backpack found at Eagle Ridge Mall in Lake Wales on Sund...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Something new for Gasparilla — your own private boat captain

Something new for Gasparilla — your own private boat captain

TAMPA — The Gasparilla Parade of Pirates may be this city’s most festive event, but law enforcement maintains its zero-tolerance policy for drinking and driving, whether on land or on water.So if you plan on consuming alcohol at the parade, get home ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Clearwater police arrest man in taxi jacking near Crest Lake Park

Clearwater police arrest man in taxi jacking near Crest Lake Park

CLEARWATER — Police officers arrested a 38-year-old man they say robbed a taxi driver at knifepoint Monday morning near Crest Lake Park.According to Clearwater police, Samuel Eric Brown, of Clearwater, stole cash from a driver for United Cab, took th...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Police: Driver rear-ends school bus in Clearwater

Police: Driver rear-ends school bus in Clearwater

CLEARWATER — A driver rear-ended Monday a school bus on the way to Safety Harbor Middle. None of the 38 students on board were hurt in the crash in the eastbound lanes of NE Coachman Road just west of U.S. 19, according to Clearwater police. Most boa...
Published: 01/22/18
Deputies seek hit-and-run driver who seriously injured bicyclist in Plant City

Deputies seek hit-and-run driver who seriously injured bicyclist in Plant City

Hillsborough County deputies are searching for the driver who seriously injured a bicyclist in a hit-and-run crash in Dover on Monday morning.Deputies say the suspect was driving a Toyota Camry that is now missing part of its right front air dam afte...
Published: 01/22/18

Woman, 35, struck and killed while walking across SR 60 in Valrico

VALRICO — A 35-year-old Thonotosassa woman was struck and killed by a car while walking across State Road 60 west of Mount Carmel Road on Sunday night, the Florida Highway Patrol said.Brandi Eckelstafer was walking south across SR 60 just after 8 p....
Published: 01/22/18

Hillsborough diver who died in Eagle’s Nest Cave was adventurous but experienced

Davin Brannon was a pilot, a spearfisherman, an avid cave and open-water diver and an experienced all-around adventurer, said those close to him ."I guess you could say he died doing what he loved," his cousin Pam Kirven said. "But I also know he’d n...
Published: 01/21/18

Deputies: 18-year-old speeding on U.S. 19 faces charges of DUI, fleeing scene

PALM HARBOR — A speeding driver on U.S. 19 refused to stop for deputies and took off, later rear-ending a car and injuring three people early Sunday morning, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.A little after 1:30 a.m., Kingzig Montanez...
Published: 01/21/18