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Woman loses $6,400 to new aquaintance

Published November 30, 2006


A Tampa woman was the victim of a $6,400 theft when a man befriended her and took her money and possessions, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. Grizelda Morales, 41, met a man who said his name was Gabriel Rodriguez while Morales was visiting Tampa General Hospital last month. Rodriguez told Morales he was a Florida Highway Patrol officer visiting someone at the hospital. The two became friends and planned to become roommates. Morales gave him $1,620 to put down payments on cars for Morales and her daughter, as well as $4,780 worth of her possessions that Rodriguez said he would take to their new home. Rodriguez hasn't been seen since. Anyone with information about him can call the Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 873-8477.

Jail deputies resign over escape

Two Pasco County detention deputies have resigned amid an internal affairs investigation of an inmate's escape Nov. 13. Rory McGrory cut through a minimum-security tent, dug under a fence and fled into a swamp. It was the first escape in five years from the Land O'Lakes jail. Sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll said Deputies Ricardo Rivera and Harry Irizarry counted 94 inmates in the tent when there were only 93. "Deputy H. Irizarry stated he did not see the suspect's face, but rather only saw a body due to the fact the suspect's feet were facing him when he conducted the count," said a report by Deputy Mark Pizzurro.

Man dies eating late-night snack

Helen Harper got up Tuesday morning and found her boyfriend hunched over on the dining room floor. Kevin Michael Morrell, 24, of Hudson had apparently choked to death on food, sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin said. An incident report said a deputy looked on the floor near Morrell's body and found what appeared to be stuffing. Harper's mother, who owns the house where Morrell died, told a deputy that Morrell often ate in the middle of the night. Harper said in the report that Morrell had a habit of falling asleep at the dining room table.

Armed driver jailed in traffic assault

A Dade City man was arrested Wednesday after authorities say he pointed a gun at another man during a traffic dispute on State Road 50. The Hernando County Sheriff's Office charged Mark Anthony Cramer, 56, with aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a felon after investigators discovered a 9mm Ruger pistol in the back seat of his Ford F250 pickup. He is being held in the Hernando County Jail on $17,000 bail.

Two found dead in Pasco RV park

A man and a woman were found dead Wednesday evening in a trailer at the Lake Gilbert RV Park on U.S. 301. Authorities suspected the deaths were a murder and a suicide. The woman, who was in her late 20s, apparently died of knife wounds, while the man, who was in his 40s, died of a self-inflicted gunshot, Pasco sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin said. The Sheriff's Office withheld the names of the deceased pending notification of next of kin.

[Last modified November 30, 2006, 00:50:09]

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