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Crime Journal

Published May 1, 2007


Car coverd by tarp becomes a crime scene

ST. PETERSBURG - Pinellas County sheriff's detectives were investigating the death of a man found inside a broken down car late Monday night. Sheriff's deputies and crime scene investigators received a call about 8:30 p.m. Monday from the residents of the home at 2720 60th Ave. N about a strong odor coming from tarp-covered vehicle parked in the yard. Inside they found a decomposed body. The car, officials said, did not run and had been covered for some time. Though deputies believe they know the man's identity, they must use dental records to confirm their information. Homicide detectives were also investigating the death.


Man's body found in burning vehicle

TAMPA - While fighting a car fire early Monday, Tampa Fire Rescue workers discovered the body of a 43-year-old Tampa man inside the burning vehicle. Police said Tracey Alan Jones was "highly intoxicated" when he passed out in a 1996 Cadillac sedan parked in front of his home at 1018 E Jean St. He was killed when a fire ignited in the engine compartment. Jones' friends told police they had been drinking with him at a bar during the day and evening, said police spokeswoman Laura McElroy. "From the way his vehicle was parked, it appears he may have driven home in an intoxicated state, " McElroy said.


Detectives arrest 19 in drug sweep

ST. PETERSBURG - Police arrested 19 people in Childs Park over the weekend after conducting operations that targeted drug dealers. Undercover detectives worked with officers in the street crimes unit to arrest the people, mostly on charges related to selling or possessing crack or cocaine. The arrests were part of the city's Weed and Seed Program.


Man hospitalized after fire pit fall

NEW PORT RICHEY - A 77-year-old man was listed in critical condition Monday, two days after he fell in a fire pit. Perceivel Ashby was in the back yard of his home on Tanglewood Drive early Saturday evening when he lost his footing and slid into a pit that had been used to burn yard debris, said his son-in-law, Ken Skelly. Ashby was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital with second- and third-degree burns, according to a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office incident report. But on Monday, Skelly said Ashby would survive.


Woman dies in unnoticed wreck

LARGO - A crash late Sunday night killed a 51-year-old Largo woman, but the accident went unreported until almost noon on Monday, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Rhonda Smith was driving south on 119th Street N when her car went through a stop sign at Walsingham Road and through the intersection, troopers said. Smith struck a fence at 11890 Walsingham Road, then hit a wooden fish pond, a pine tree and a second fence. Her car flipped and she was thrown out. Smith, who lived on Nellie Street, died at the scene. A neighbor told troopers she thought she heard something late Sunday, but didn't realize an accident had taken place until she went outside Monday and saw Smith's car.

[Last modified May 1, 2007, 00:47:29]

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