DAVIE — In the Tampa area where he lived for at least the past 15 years, William Norman was known as a retired school principal who enjoyed entertaining at his home near Carrollwood.
"He threw a Fourth of July party just last Sunday," said next- door neighbor Bonnie Coon. "Lots of cars. He entertains a lot."
Just four days after that July 1 party, Norman's body was found floating in a Davie canal with a plastic bag tied over his head.
Police in Davie, west of Fort Lauderdale, are investigating how Norman, 76, died. But two 19-year-old men have been arrested and charged with premeditated murder in connection with the death.
Andarly Desir of Lauderhill and Corey David Weintraub of Tamarac remained in the Broward County jail Sunday, held without bail.
Police listed Weintraub's address as a house in the 6000 block of NW 71st Avenue in Tamarac. That two-bedroom house was owned by Norman, according to Broward County Property Appraiser records.
Neighbors said they had seen two young men living in the house, and one neighbor reported that Norman had recently argued loudly with his tenants.
Astrid Ortiz, 39, who lives across the street, said Norman later told her he had been threatened by the men and was frightened of them.
A maintenance worker for the Central Broward Water Control District found Norman's body Thursday afternoon in the canal along the 1400 block of SW 121st Avenue.
In Hillsborough County, those who knew Norman expressed shock over the news of his death.
Howard Cook said he saw Norman often eight or nine years ago when he served as a board member of the Spirit of Life Metropolitan Community Church in New Port Richey and took part in prayer groups. "He was a good, loyal member," said Cook.
Cook said he recalls Norman speaking of an ex-wife and two sons.
"He was always pleasant," said Cook, 70.