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Family desperate for clues in killing of Tarpon Springs man

Tarpon Springs

His body was found on the morning of Dec. 7, behind an unlocked apartment door, with no obvious signs of a struggle.

Police, who have closely held details of the killing, have still not disclosed a precise cause of death, saying only that Eddie Dixon, 73, died from "upper body trauma." As more than two months have passed without a break in the case, his surviving relatives have grown frustrated.

On Thursday, they drove the streets of Tarpon Springs, running hunched in the rain from a charcoal Dodge Charger to the bodegas and barber shops to put up a poster bearing Dixon's image — and an offer of a reward of up to $1,000 for information about his killer.

The family also plans to hold a vigil at the Sponge Docks beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday.

"We want something," said Largo resident Dena Tingling, Dixon's 45-year-old daughter. "I got God on my side."

Not on their side so far: evidence accumulated by investigators as to who killed Dixon, and why. The Vietnam veteran and retired city worker was well-liked at the North Ring Village housing complex he called home, relatives and neighbors said.

Dixon's violent death was an isolated incident at North Ring Village, said Pat Weber, executive director of the Tarpon Springs Housing Authority. "That complex is not a complex where crime usually occurs," Weber said. "It's usually pretty quiet there."

Security cameras had been installed throughout North Ring Village in November. But none of the cameras were pointed directly at Dixon's front door, leaving police without firm evidence as to who might have entered his apartment, said Tarpon Springs police Sgt. Mike Trill.

"There's nothing like a smoking gun" in the surveillance footage, Trill said. He said detectives continue to work the case.

"I wholeheartedly understand the frustration," he said of Dixon's family. "You want some closure on it."

As she posted flyers Thursday, Tingling was accompanied by her husband and Crystal Lake, a 28-year-old Holiday resident who was Dixon's caretaker.

Lake worked with Dixon for two years. She was the one who found him dead early in the morning on Dec. 7.

Asked about the crime scene, she just shook her head, tears streaming down her face.

"My Eddie," she said, smiling. "I just don't understand. They gotta do something." She was standing in the lobby of the Tarpon Springs Police Department with Tingling, who embraced her. "Like I said, God knows," Tingling said. "And Daddy knows."

"I want to know," Lake replied.

Anyone with information about Dixon's homicide can call Crime Stoppers of Pinellas County at (800) 873-TIPS.

Peter Jamison can be reached at pjamison@tampabay.com.

Family desperate for clues in killing of Tarpon Springs man 02/15/13 [Last modified: Friday, February 15, 2013 7:22pm]
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