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Man accused of killing, dismembering Uber Eats driver indicted, facing death penalty

Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bruce Bartlett described the crime as “vile.”
 
Oscar Adrian Solis, 30, was arrested in connection to a death investigation in Holiday.
Oscar Adrian Solis, 30, was arrested in connection to a death investigation in Holiday. [ Pasco County Jail ]
Published May 22, 2023|Updated May 24, 2023

The Pasco County man accused of killing and dismembering an Uber Eats driver who was making a delivery in Holiday has been indicted on one count of first-degree murder and one count of abuse of a dead body, court dockets show.

Bryan Sarabia, a prosecutor with the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office, is assigned to the case, and he plans to seek the death penalty for Oscar Adrian Solis Jr., 30. He said he and his boss, State Attorney Bruce Bartlett, discussed it before Bartlett made the decision.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Bartlett said in a Monday phone call. “I cannot focus on how an individual can be so vile.”

In its notice of intent to seek the death penalty, the state attorney’s office noted the “especially heinous, atrocious or cruel” nature of the killing. Bartlett also cited Solis’ previous criminal history — including stabbing an inmate while serving a prison sentence in Indiana — as an aggravating factor.

Just before 7 p.m. April 19, Randall Cooke, 59, approached Solis’ house on the 3400 block of Moog Road to make his last delivery of the day, according to the court documents. A surveillance camera at the house showed Cooke walk up to the door and then get pulled inside.

Bartlett said Cooke was stabbed 35 times inside the house.

Randall Cooke kisses his wife Kathy Cooke. Randall Cooke was killed while making an Uber Eats delivery to a home in Holiday, his step-daughter Brittany Dzoba confirms.
Randall Cooke kisses his wife Kathy Cooke. Randall Cooke was killed while making an Uber Eats delivery to a home in Holiday, his step-daughter Brittany Dzoba confirms. [ Brittany Dzoba ]

Cooke’s wife, Kathy, texted him at around 7:13 p.m., according to a search warrant, but got no response. She reported him missing to the sheriff’s office.

Surveillance video from the next day showed two men, including Solis, carrying trash bags around to the side of the house, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said.

“I cannot for the life of me believe he was so nonchalant in what he did,” Bartlett said.

When authorities later examined the contents of those trash bags, they found human remains, including a “human foot wearing a black sock.” The remains were identified as Cooke by the medical examiner.

Cooke’s car was found less than a half-mile from where Nocco said the man was killed and dismembered. The car had been parked in Solis’ driveway, according to arrest affidavits, but was moved after Cooke’s death. Deputies found trash bags in the car with blood-soaked rags and paper towels in them, as well as what authorities said was the same red delivery bag Cooke had been seen carrying in the surveillance footage.

“This was a horrific crime of passion,” Nocco said of the killing in his April 25 news conference. “You always say the word evil, but this is demonic.”

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Nocco said Solis is affiliated with the gang MS-13.

“All it appears is that there was a gentleman who was working, was doing his last delivery of the night,” Nocco said. “And this person killed him for no reason and took him away from his family.”

Solis is being held in jail without bond, according to court records.

The same week Cooke was killed, Tampa police say a DoorDash driver was kidnapped and raped while trying to make a delivery to a hotel. The close proximity of the violent incidents, which authorities said appeared to be random, left many gig workers around the Tampa Bay area fearful for their own safety.

After the incidents, a number of them took part in a Tampa rally to call for, among other things, increased driver safety measures. The rally was one of several held across the state to launch a Florida guild of Uber and Lyft drivers and advocate for better pay and safeguards against “unfair” deactivations.

Due to incorrect information provided by the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office, a previous version of this story incorrectly stated how long Randall Cooke had worked for Uber Eats.

Times staff writer Bernadette Berdychowski contributed to this report.