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DEPUTIES: PAIR FLAUNTED KILLING

They suffocated the victim with a plastic bag, authorities say, then showed his corpse.

Two men have been arrested in the killing of a 34-year-old Tampa man found dead in his apartment Saturday afternoon, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Amer Ejak 16, and Christopher J. Cox, 22, killed Thomas Johannesen, 34, by suffocating him with a plastic bag earlier this week, sheriff's officials said. The two men then showed off his body to two people.

The people who saw the body then told another person, who alerted authorities. Ejak and Cox were arrested Sunday and charged with first-degree murder, records say. They were being held without bail.

Johannesen's parents traveled from New York to Tampa when they had not been able to contact their son for several days. On Saturday night, the parents called the Sheriff's Office to gain entry to their son's apartment, at 14606 Gilligan Way.

Authorities were not clear on how Johannesen knew Ejak and Cox, but said the three men were inside Johannesen's apartment sometime between Sept. 10 and 11 when Ejak struck him over the head with a whiskey bottle.

Ejak and Cox placed a plastic bag over his head and secured it with a belt around his neck, suffocating him. They stole Johannesen's keys, cell phone and sneakers and hid Johannesen's body in the closet, officials said.

Cox has a lengthy criminal record with more than 15 arrests since 1998, including arrests in April and in July on drug possession charges.

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