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Man faces three murder counts after bodies found in burning Palm River-Clair Mel home, deputies say

Ricky Wilkerson Jr., 23, was arrested on three counts of first-degree murder in connection with three bodies found in a burning home in November, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. [HCSO]
Ricky Wilkerson Jr., 23, was arrested on three counts of first-degree murder in connection with three bodies found in a burning home in November, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. [HCSO]
Published Mar. 1, 2019

A second arrest was made Friday in connection with the triple-homicide discovered in November when three bodies were found in a burning home in the Palm River-Clair Mel area, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Ricky Wilkerson Jr., 23, faces three counts of first-degree murder, armed burglary of a dwelling and robbery with a firearm.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Arrest linked to bodies found in burning Palm River-Clair Mel home

The investigation started with a Nov. 15 report of a house fire at 6221 16th Ave. S. Firefighters discovered three bodies inside the home. None of them died from fire-related injuries, authorities said. Instead, investigators said all three suffered upper body trauma.

The victims were identified as Haley Stone, 20; Xavier Greene, 28; and Derek Archie, 31.

Video surveillance systems in the neighborhood captured video of a white Nissan Altima at the home, according to the Sheriff's Office. A gray Infiniti was also seen at the residence, and one person in the car was seen setting the fiure.

It was on Nov. 20 that deputies say they identified the Nissan Altima caught on video, and learned that it was registered to Wilkerson. But the Sheriff's Office did not say what evidence led to his arrest on Friday.

Deputies made the first arrest in this case on Dec. 1. Xavier Pierre Whitehead, 28, of Tampa, was arrested on charges of armed burglary of a dwelling, first degree arson and tampering with physical evidence. However, his role in the case was not disclosed by the Sheriff's Office.

Wilkerson is being held in the Orient Road Jail without bail.

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