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Police: Zephyrhills man sexually battered woman, hanged himself

LAND O'LAKES — A man who had been accused of sexually battering and beating a woman hung himself outside of his family's mobile home supply store Tuesday, according to the Zephyrhills Police Department.

On Monday, officials said Richard Hynes, 31, held a woman inside his home on Camden Avenue in Zephyrhills for several hours against her will. During the time, he beat, sexually battered and attempted to choke her, according to a news release from Zephyrhills police.

Officials did not release the woman's identity, but said she knew Hynes before the attack.

A Zephyrhills police SWAT team searched for Hynes at his home early Monday morning. They believed he was barricaded inside, but did not find him.

Early Tuesday, a family member discovered Hynes' body hanging in the woods surrounding the family's business, Hynes Discount Mobile Home Supply on Land O'Lakes Boulevard. Pasco County sheriff's deputies said Hynes' death was an apparent suicide.

There was no word Tuesday afternoon whether Hynes left a note.

Hynes Discount Mobile Home Supply was closed Tuesday afternoon. A barbed-wire fence surrounded a gravel lot filled with freestanding front doors, window panes and staircases.

A banner outside the one-story building told customers the store was closing and they should visit the Zephyrhills location.

No one answered the phone at the Zephyrhills store.

State records show that Hynes was arrested in 1995 on felony aggravated battery charges, which were later dismissed.

Hynes' family members could not be reached Tuesday afternoon.

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at htravis@sptimes.com or (352) 521-6518.

Police: Zephyrhills man sexually battered woman, hanged himself 06/03/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 10:43am]
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