VALRICO — The boyfriend of a Brandon mother of three was accused Wednesday of killing her by bashing her over the head with a concrete block.
Michael Jason Fields, 32, faces a second-degree murder charge and is being held in jail without bail.
Christina Mahzamani, also 32, was reported missing Monday night after her children phoned a relative and said their mother had left them home alone the previous evening at 1608 Loriana St. in Brandon and not returned.
On Tuesday afternoon, Fields called 911 and said he had found a woman's body in the yard of the house where he was staying at 2707 St. Cloud Oaks Drive in Valrico, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office officials.
When deputies arrived, Fields identified the body as that of Mahzamani.
Suspicion quickly fell on him, despite his assertions that he had not seen Mahzamani since late Sunday when she visited him briefly at the home, authorities said.
Forensic investigators noticed what were described as "drag marks" in the leaves and grass in the back yard at 2707 St. Cloud Oaks Drive, leading to the area between the house and a neighboring home to the north, where Mahzamani's body was found, officials said.
In the back yard, they found a concrete block with blood on it, along with a footprint that appeared to match the shoe Fields was wearing, officials said.
Detectives also searched the house where Fields was staying. In his bedroom, they said they found pajama pants with what appeared to be blood on them.
An autopsy revealed Mahzamani's head was bludgeoned, authorities said.
Her children, ages 13, 9 and 7, were in the care of their grandfather, who reported Mahzamani missing about 8:45 p.m. Monday, about 24 hours after she left home, according to sheriff's officials.
Earlier the same day, deputies had found Mahzamani's abandoned 2013 Buick Enclave blocking a driveway at 511 Briar Meadows Drive in Valrico. The address is about a half-mile east of where Fields lives.
Mahzamani's keys were inside the sport utility vehicle, deputies said. Neighbors told deputies the SUV was not there as of midnight Monday, but appeared sometime between 2:30 and 3 a.m.
Fields was arrested at the crime scene and later booked in the Hillsborough County jail.
It remained unclear Wednesday what might have precipitated the killing.
Before her body was found, friends of Mahzamani set up a Facebook page in an effort to find her.
She had become a mom at a young age and recently pursued a divorce from her husband of several years, friends said. In the process, she made efforts to live a healthier lifestyle — eating right and exercising more — while also studying for a General Educational Development test.
She met Fields through a mutual friend last summer.
He had a prior arrest on a child abuse charge in 2008, state records show. He later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of battery and received a sentence of time served. The following year, he pleaded no contest to violating a domestic violence injunction, court records show.
They began dating and Fields later moved in with her, said Holly Walton, who was friends with the couple.
But the relationship was tense, Walton said. She heard of fights and Fields acting inappropriately in front of the children. By the beginning of the new year, Mahzamani had asked him to leave.
Fields, who didn't have a job and had no other place to go, moved in with a couple at 2707 St. Cloud Oaks Drive, Walton said. He had lived there before meeting Mahzamani.
"Nobody knows why she was over there Sunday night," Walton said. "She had kicked him out of the house. She was trying to get away from him."
Times staff writer Caitlin Johnston and news researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report.