St. Petersburg Times Online: News of Florida

Weather | Sports | Forums | Comics | Classifieds | Calendar | Movies

Suspect in slaying arrested

©Associated Press

April 14, 2003

OCALA -- A third man has been arrested in the stabbing and attempted burial of a suspected drug informant in Ocala National Forest, authorities said.

Alex Rosado, 28, turned himself in at the Marion County Jail on Saturday on charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. He proclaimed his innocence in the death of Elvin Rodriguez.

"If you think I was guilty, would I come here and turn myself in?" Rosado said.

Rodriguez, 25, was found March 25 by Marion County sheriff's deputies wrapped in black plastic beside a freshly dug grave in the forest. Two suspects, Bladimir Rios and Edgardo Mercado, were found hiding nearby.

Rios, 25, has been indicted on charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. He is being held without bail at Marion County Jail.

Mercado, 46, has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder and accessory after the fact.

Days after Rodriguez's body was found, detectives issued a warrant for Rosado.

© Copyright, St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.