Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man found slain at St. Petersburg motel was Jordanian immigrant

ST. PETERSBURG — Like many people his age, 19-year-old Aziz Ahmad was trying to figure out his place in the world.

Ahmad, who recently emigrated from Jordan, also wasn't thrilled about his job at a small convenience store.

He dropped off an application at Publix about 10 days ago. On Wednesday, he left his aunt and uncle's house in west St. Petersburg to apply at Walmart and other shops.

He called that night and told his family not to wait up for him.

The next morning, an employee at the Candlelight Inn motel on 34th Street found Ahmad, whose full name is Abdelaziz Mohamad Baker Ahmad, dead inside Room 118. He had been stabbed to death.

His family, and police, are struggling to figure out why.

"We wait," said Reham Darwish, Ahmad's aunt. "We don't know anything. It's hard."

Hours after Ahmad's body was discovered Thursday, police arrested a 21-year-old New Port Richey man and charged him with first-degree murder. But authorities said Friday they still don't know what motivated David Charles Willey, identified by surveillance video and other motel guests, to kill Ahmad.

Willey would not consent to an interview with detectives.

Surveillance video from the motel shows the two men going into Ahmad's room, but Willey leaving alone.

Darwish said her nephew, whom she treated as a son, was an introvert. He helped out at Fat Boy's Market in the 2600 block of Fifth Avenue S.

Ahmad decided to seek a new job earlier this month after a group of teens jumped him outside the store as he tried to help someone who was hurt. According to police, who arrested three teenagers in the Aug. 7 attack, Ahmad's front teeth were knocked out.

"He didn't show his feelings," Darwish said. "If he was having trouble with someone, he kept it secret."

Ahmad moved to St. Petersburg in November with his wife, who was born in the United States. The young couple married overseas, Darwish said.

Ahmad had never been to the U.S. before. His mother had planned to visit Sept. 4 to see how he was doing.

"She lived for him," Darwish said, her eyes welling with tears. "We are missing him. He was nice, quiet, funny."

Man found slain at St. Petersburg motel was Jordanian immigrant 08/23/13 [Last modified: Friday, August 23, 2013 11:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Boehner: Trump's term 'disaster,' aside from foreign affairs


    WASHINGTON — Former House Speaker John Boehner says that aside from international affairs and foreign policy, President Donald Trump's time in office has so far been a "complete disaster."

    John Boehner said he's been friends with Trump for 15 years, but still has a hard time envisioning him as president.
  2. Veto community college budget cuts, St. Petersburg College leader urges Gov. Scott


    The president of St. Petersburg College is calling on Gov. Rick Scott to veto a proposed budget cut that slashes community college funding in a time of declining enrollment and tuition revenue.

    Dr. Bill Law of SPC
  3. Mulberry teens, 15 and 18, killed in Plant City when car runs red light, FHP says


    Two Mulberry teens are dead and their cousin, who was scheduled to graduate from Mulberry High School Thursday evening, was critically injured after their car ran a red light and collided with another vehicle in Plant City Thursday afternoon.

  4. Review: Idina Menzel belts out powerful, courageous performance at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater


    The best moment of Idina Menzel’s show at Ruth Eckerd Hall Thursday came during the singer’s best-known song, Let It Go.

    Idina Menzel performed at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall on May 25, 2017.
  5. Former Campbell Park Elementary principal Christine Hoffman will retire


    Former Campbell Park Elementary principal Christine Hoffman, who was under investigation for sending a directive to her staff that said white students should be in the same class when creating …

    Former Campbell Park Elementary principal Christine Hoffman will retire pending School Board approval. Hoffman created an uproar in April when she sent an email to staff directing them to keep white students in the same class when creating classroom rosters.