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Man arrested in connection with double homicide at east Tampa car wash

Ricky Fitzgerald Hathorn, 46.
Ricky Fitzgerald Hathorn, 46.
Published Dec. 1, 2015

TAMPA — A man who admitted to beating a couple found dead at a vacant Chevron station in east Tampa this weekend has been arrested for their murders, authorities said.

Ricky Fitzgerald Hathorn, 46, was arrested on charges of first-degree murder, sexual battery with a deadly weapon and second-degree murder with a weapon, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

A sheriff's deputy on patrol came across the bodies of Tommy Skeens, 52, and Lara Kuchar, 45, inside the car wash tunnel at 7702 E Hillsborough Ave. early on Nov. 28, authorities said. Both had severe upper-body injuries.

Nearby, authorities found a blood-soaked chunk of wood. Kuchar was found "exposed," with a used condom near her body, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Soon after, Hathorn was named a person of interest. He had been with Kuchar and Skeens in the early hours of Nov. 28, deputies said. They found him Monday and questioned him.

Hathorn told investigators that he had beaten the victims. A few days prior, authorities said, Kuchar had spurned Hathorn's advances.

Deputies said it appeared Kucher and Skeens had been living in the car wash with a mutt named Tiny, who was taken to animal control.