Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa man charged in Gibsonton woman's killing

Jose Enrique Gonzalez is accused of killing a woman whose nude body was found Jan. 18.

Jose Enrique Gonzalez is accused of killing a woman whose nude body was found Jan. 18.

RIVERVIEW — A Tampa man has been charged with murdering a 21-year-old Gibsonton woman whose body was found behind a Riverview shopping center in January.

Jose Enrique Gonzalez, 48, of 2311 Osborne Ave. in Tampa was arrested Thursday morning by Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies in the death of Meaghan E. Casady. He faces felony murder and sexual battery charges, the Sheriff's Office said.

Casady's nude body was found Jan. 18 behind the Summerfield Shopping Plaza at 11323 Big Bend Road. The discovery came hours after she was seen leaving CJ's Saloon, 9411 U.S. 301 in Riverview, with Gonzalez.

A sheriff's deputy first encountered Gonzalez about 4:30 a.m. that day, according to an arrest affidavit.

Gonzalez was parked along Rhodine Road near U.S. 301 in Riverview. Casady, who was in the front passenger's seat, appeared to be intoxicated but uninjured. She said she was "okay," and the deputy suggested that Gonzalez take her home as soon as possible.

A garbage truck driver found Casady's body in a grassy area behind the shopping center three hours later. A surveillance camera at the shopping center captured video of a car similar to Gonzalez's about 90 minutes after he spoke to the deputy, the affidavit states.

A sheriff's detective noticed fresh scratches and gouges on Gonzalez's face, hands and arms during an interview the next day. Gonzalez explained that he got hurt while trying to intervene in a fight outside CJ's Saloon a day earlier.

But a bar bouncer later told detectives that Gonzalez had no injuries when he got kicked out of the parking lot hours before Casady's death. Gonzalez told a detective he left the bar with Casady but said he dropped her off at a Riverview intersection shortly after he spoke to the deputy because she was "going crazy" and wanted out of the car.

He denied being anywhere near the area where her body was found, but detectives later found cellphone records showing Gonzalez was close to the area where Casady was found dead, according to the affidavit.

DNA samples taken from Casady, including samples from her fingernails, matched those of Gonzalez, according to detectives. Hair found on the floor of Gonzalez's car also belonged to Casady.

Gonzalez has two other arrests in Florida, state records show. He pleaded guilty to soliciting a prostitute in June 2010. Adjudication was withheld and he was ordered to pay $765 in court costs. In October 2010, he was charged with driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Colleen Wright can be reached at or (727) 893-8913.

Tampa man charged in Gibsonton woman's killing 04/17/14 [Last modified: Thursday, April 17, 2014 11:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas licensing board asks Sen. Jack Latvala for $500,000 loan

    Local Government

    The troubled Pinellas County agency that regulates contractors wants Sen. Jack Latvala to help it get a $500,000 lifeline from the state to stay afloat.

    State Sen . Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, is being asked to help the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board get $500,000 from the state so it can stay open beyond February.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. FHP: 55-year-old pedestrian struck, killed by car in Largo


    LARGO — A 55-year-old St. Petersburg man died late Saturday after he walked into the path of a car on Ulmerton Road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  3. Study offers warning for Florida strawberry farmers from global warming


    LAKELAND — Florida strawberry growers already have experienced a dress rehearsal for the impacts of climate change during the past two seasons.

     Carl Grooms shows off some of his strawberries at Fancy Farms near Plant City Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015.  Grooms, President of Fancy Farms. [JAMES BORCHUCK  |  Times]
  4. Two Interstate 275 tractor-trailer crashes cause delays in Tampa


    TAMPA — Two tractor-trailers driving in opposite directions on Interstate 275 crashed Sunday within a mile of each other, causing lane closures on both sides for much of the morning.

    Two tractor-trailers going opposite directions on Interstate 275 in Tampa crashed Sunday morning, closing lanes on each side, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. [Florida Highway Patrol]
  5. Read Anthony Scaramucci's old tweets. You'll understand why he deleted them


    New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci hasn't always shared the political views of the administration he now serves.

    Anthony Scaramucci, incoming White House communications director, takes questions as he speaks in the briefing room at the White House on Friday. [ Washington Post photo by by Jabin Botsford]