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Authorities zero in on suspect in killing

Pasco authorities say little except that Veterans Village neighbors of the victim, advertising salesman Lawrence Vincent Pollock, have no cause for alarm.

By TAMARA LUSH

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 18, 2000


NEW PORT RICHEY -- Pasco sheriff's officials said Wednesday that they have identified a suspect in the slaying of a Veterans Village man -- but they won't name the person.

Lawrence Vincent Pollock, 51, of 2953 Westmoreland Court was found dead in his home late Sunday night. His body was found by deputies, who were asked by Lakeland police to check on Pollock..

Officers found Pollock's silver Ford Contour abandoned in a residential neighborhood about 8 p.m. Sunday, said Lakeland Sgt. Gary Walker. They traced the car to Pollock, he said.

"We checked with Pasco, and lo and behold, we came up with a dead body," Walker told the Times on Wednesday.

Information on how and when Pollock was killed was not released; autopsy results are pending. Pasco County sheriff's spokesman Jon Powers said the investigation is "extremely active," but wouldn't comment further.

He did stress, however, that residents of Veterans Village have no reason to fear for their safety.

On Monday, the neighborhood's mostly older residents woke to find yellow crime scene tape surrounding Pollock's villa. Neighbors were so scared of a killer on the loose that they would not give their names to reporters.

But Powers said that Sheriff Lee Cannon wants to reassure residents that they are not in danger.

Pollock's family and friends say they can't understand why anyone would kill such a friendly, gentle man.

"He was one of those people that you cannot help but like him," said Carlos Velasquez, Pollock's boss at Trader Publishing Co. in Pinellas County. Pollock worked as an advertising account representative; he had previously worked in circulation for the Times in Pasco County.

Velasquez said he last spoke to Pollock about 1 p.m. on Friday. Pollock was on his way to an appointment with a client in New Port Richey, he said, and, as usual, he was cheerful.

Pollock's sister, Mary Ratulowsky of Elfers, said he loved cooking, taking photographs and going to Clearwater Beach.

"He was nice to be around," she said. "He had the type of personality that would make everyone laugh."

-- Staff writer Tamara Lush is the police reporter in Pasco County. She can be reached in west Pasco at 869-6245 or (800) 333-7505, ext. 6245. Her e-mail address is lush@sptimes.com.

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