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The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says the death of the yard employee is "definitely a homicide.''
By JOSH ZIMMER
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 25, 2001
TAMPA -- The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of a 57-year-old man whose body was found Saturday morning at an auto parts salvage yard.
The man sold parts at the yard, and also lived there in a camper. His body was discovered lying by the side of the camper at the Austin Street business, which is west of U.S. 41 and less than a mile south of Causeway Boulevard.
Deputies are looking for the victim's white Chevrolet pickup truck in hopes it will lead to suspects, sheriff's spokesman Lt. Rod Reder said.
Acquaintances at the scene said they knew the man only as "Vaughn." Deputies said they would not release his last name until next of kin were notified.
"It is definitely a homicide," Reder said.
Reder would not say how the man died. Robin Eargood, a brother of the owners of the salvage yard, said it appeared his throat had been cut.
Eargood said the victim had moved into the camper several months ago. His brothers allowed him to live there in exchange for watching the property at night.
Acquaintances described the victim as a generous man who regularly bought people drinks at local bars.
"If you went to a bar . . . he had a ball of cash and all the women trying to get to him," said acquaintance Roger Mann. "He didn't bother nobody. There was no reason to kill him."