BAYONET POINT — As he was led off in handcuffs last week, away from the tarp-covered body of a 69-year-old man, Brian Fickes told deputies he'd had enough of his roommate.
"I told you he kept screwing with me. He kept screwing with me," said Fickes, 45, according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report released Wednesday.
Kim Cox had been dead for a few days by the time his body was found the night of May 24. He had been shot four times in the head, according to the medical examiner's office.
Fickes, who was originally charged with stealing Cox's car and resisting arrest, now faces a charge of murder.
"We believe he was responsible for the murder," sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin said Wednesday.
The Sheriff's Office said Fickes admitted to being there when Cox died and dragging his body to the garage of the Country Club Estates home at 12811 College Hill Drive. He then hid the body, scrubbed the house with bleach and dumped the evidence in two trash bins, authorities said. A tip led deputies to those Dumpsters and the evidence, but Tobin would not specify what was found.
One weapon is in custody, he said, though he would not say whether it was the murder weapon.
Neighbors said Fickes was a drifter who talked Cox into letting him stay one night at his house and then never left. Fickes had been living with Cox for several weeks, neighbors said.
Neighbor Richard Paquette recalled Cox telling him: "'I've dropped hints. The guy isn't getting it. He won't leave.'"
After Cox disappeared, Paquette saw Fickes driving around in Cox's car, talking on Cox's cell phone and gobbling fast food — something Fickes, who was constantly bumming money and cigarettes, could never afford previously.
Fickes told concerned neighbors that Cox was out fishing.
Erin Sullivan can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 869-6229.