Saturday, December 16, 2017
Public safety

Suspect sought for burned body

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office issued an arrest warrant Saturday for a 17-year-old in connection with the death of a man whose burning body was found behind a vacant home in north Forest Hills.

Deputies are looking for Sigfredo Espinel, who's described as being 6 feet 2 inches tall, about 200 pounds and having numerous tattoos around his neck and arms. He is thought to be driving a 2011 Porsche Cayenne SUV.

The body of Jose Zarragoitia, 23, was discovered about 8:40 a.m. Thursday after a neighbor walking his dog spotted smoke behind the house at 12015 N Oregon Ave.

The man called 911, and a deputy used a fire extinguisher to tamp down the flames until firefighters arrived.

The house, which sits at the top of a "T" formed by Oregon Avenue and Pine Lake Drive, has been vacant for about two months and the owners told deputies no one should be there. County property records list Tampa Bay Dynamic Rentals as the owner.

Zarragoitia's connection to the home, if any, is unclear. Deputies listed his address as a duplex on E Lotus Avenue, about 3 miles southeast. A woman who answered the door and identified herself as Zarragoitia's sister said it was too soon for the family to comment. A GoFundMe page has been created to pay for funeral expenses.

"Jose was a genuine, kind hearted person and would've done anything for his family and friends," Bethany Griffith, who called Zarragoita her best friend, wrote on the page. "He always knew how to put a smile on someone's face."

Anyone with information on Espinel's location is asked to call the HSheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-8477

 
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