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Man's body found in burning trash can in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — A man found burned in a city trash can late Saturday was murdered, according to St. Petersburg police.

The man, whom police have not identified, was found in a large black trash can in an alley behind a home at 1024 Ninth Ave. S.

Katie Diggs, who lives at the home with her boyfriend, said a neighbor came over shortly after 11 p.m. and said her fence was on fire.

Diggs, 66, and boyfriend Lewis Golphin grabbed a hose and put out the flames climbing up their wooden privacy fence, then stepped into the alley to make sure the fire was fully extinguished, Diggs said.

The trash can, Golphin said, "was engulfed in flames" and melting from the heat.

That's when he and Diggs noticed the body.

"The body was lying there with one arm up," Diggs said.

Diggs, who said she has lived in her Campbell Park home for 35 years, said she found it hard to sleep afterward.

"That is really, really scary," Diggs said. "You don't know what that did to me."

On Sunday afternoon, an acrid smell hung in the air behind the home. A new trash can had been delivered and sat in front of the charred fence.

Diggs said she had completed several projects at her home recently, including having a new cement driveway poured.

But she's so concerned about violence in the neighborhood that she's not sure she wants to stay in the house.

"I have a lot tied up here and can't live here in peace," Diggs said.

Police have not released details about how the man was killed.

They are asking anyone with information to call the Homicide Division at (727) 893-7164.

Rita Farlow can be reached at or (727) 445-4162.

Man's body found in burning trash can in St. Petersburg 02/01/09 [Last modified: Sunday, February 1, 2009 9:36pm]
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