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Ominous question preceded Tampa man's murder charge: "Did you find her?"

Hector Acevedo confessed to attacking girlfriend Shyeanne Lewis, a police report says.
Hector Acevedo confessed to attacking girlfriend Shyeanne Lewis, a police report says.
Published Apr. 25, 2017

TAMPA — As Hillsborough sheriff's deputies led him to a patrol car, blood spattered on his clothes and legs, Hector Acevedo asked an ominous question.

"Did you find her?" the 24-year-old convicted felon asked moments after his arrest Saturday on a weapons charge, according to a Tampa police report.

Acevedo initially wouldn't explain what he meant or talk about the blood. Then, according to the report, he confessed to attacking his girlfriend, Shyeanne Lewis.

The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office concluded that Lewis had been stabbed more than 20 times.

The police report, obtained Monday by the Tampa Bay Times, offers new details on the evidence and chain of events that led to Acevedo's arrest on a first-degree murder charge.

Acevedo called his mother, Maria Soto, on Saturday and told her that he wanted to kill himself, according the report. Soto picked up her son near the corner of Busch Boulevard and 40th Street, brought him to a home in the 3330 block of W Burke Street, and called an off-duty Hillsborough sheriff's deputy for help. The deputy arrived at the house, where Acevedo was sleeping, and called for on-duty deputies.

Deputies took Acevedo into custody under the Baker Act, the state law that allows authorities to commit and evaluate people thought to be a danger to themselves or others, and found a 9mm handgun in his pants pocket. Acevedo is not allowed to have a gun because he has a previous felony conviction. He was released from state prison in 2014 after serving 16 months for selling marijuana and cocaine, records show.

Deputies also noticed the blood on his clothes and legs. It was at that point that Acevedo asked if they'd found "her." He eventually explained he had stabbed his girlfriend several times, but wouldn't say where she was, deputies said.

They searched a former address listed for Lewis but didn't find her. Acevedo then told deputies Lewis was at an apartment at 4819 College Court, in the Andover Club complex on Busch Boulevard.

A Tampa police sergeant knocked on the door, got no answer and forced his way into the apartment. He found Lewis' body on the bedroom floor.

Acevedo told detectives that he arrived at the apartment about 3 a.m. and got into an argument with Lewis, according to the arrest report. She hit him, he said, and he punched her in the face. Lewis grabbed a kitchen knife and Acevedo "disarmed" her, he told detectives.

"The next thing that he remembers is Lewis was lying on the bedroom floor and she was covered in blood," the report states.

Acevedo said he changed his bloody clothes and left, locking the door behind him with Lewis' keys. He then drove her car to his grandmother's apartment, returned the car later and called his mother, who picked him up on Busch Boulevard and took him to the home on W Burke Street.

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Investigators searching Lewis' apartment found Acevedo's blood-stained clothes and a knife in the bedroom. They searched the Burke Street home and found blood on the sheets and blanket where Acevedo had been sleeping. They also found Lewis' car and apartment keys in the living room.

Senior news researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Contact Tony Marrero at tmarrero@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.

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