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Still no ID, cause of death for man in car

Published Sep. 4, 2005

Case 02-507100 is a mystery.

Who stole a beige Honda Accord from a Tampa neighborhood Sunday night? Where was the car when it struck a pedestrian, sending the man's head through the windshield and his prosthetic leg into the street?

And who is the dead man?

Tampa detectives don't have the answers.

About 2:30 p.m. Monday, a man collecting cans saw the 1990 Honda parked in the back yard of an empty home at 1513 E Poinsettia St.

The man peered into the car and made a terrible discovery.

The windshield was shattered, and a dead man was inside, face down, in the passenger seat. Detectives think that whoever struck the man then drove to the empty house, parked the car in the yard and fled.

"Horrible," said police spokeswoman Katie Hughes. "It was a pretty bad scene."

The victim was missing a leg, police said. About a dozen blocks away at Linebaugh and Nebraska Avenues, police located an artificial leg.

Police believe that intersection is where the Honda struck the victim, sometime Monday afternoon before 2:30.

An autopsy on the victim's body was performed Tuesday, and Hughes said investigators are trying to determine the man's identity.

Detectives also are searching for leads on who stole and drove the Honda that struck the man. The car was reported stolen Sunday night.

Anyone with information about the victim, the crash or the stolen car, is asked to call Tampa police at (813) 231-6130.