TAMPA — Homicide detectives are looking for a registered sex offender who may know about a woman found dead in her West Tampa home Monday.
Tampa police are asking the public to help locate James Ware, 56, the live-in boyfriend of Denise Cogmon, 60. A concerned relative found Cogmon dead in her home at 2108 La Salle St. Monday morning.
Ware could be driving Cogmon's missing car, a gold 1996 Toyota Camry with the Florida tag BXY-A96.
Cogmon was reported missing early Monday, police said. As officers began a search for her, a relative went to her home, found a bedroom door locked and kicked it open to find Cogmon dead, police said.
Police said Cogmon died from trauma to her upper body. Her death is being treated as a homicide.
Ware was listed as a registered sex offender three years ago after serving a 22-year prison sentence for attempted sexual battery and other charges in 1990.
Ware was released in 2012 but is still on probation. His current address is listed as the home where Cogmon was found dead.
La Salle Street, a straight brick road that runs parallel to Interstate 275, was blocked to traffic Monday morning between Howard Avenue and Albany Street. Tampa police forensics trucks were parked in front of the house and yellow crime scene tape circled the yard.
More than 50 neighbors convened on the street and sidewalks as detectives and forensic technicians walked in and out a screened front porch. Some approached the home in tears. At 10 a.m., a pastor called the group together in the driveway next door. "Father, you are the only one who can help us in a time like this," he prayed.
Anyone with information about Cogmon's death is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 873-TIPS (8477).