Police are investigating what appears to be a serial killer on the loose. Tampa Police in Florida are in search of an unknown suspect who has murdered four people, including an elderly man who was shot Tuesday morning. The murders began in early October. The serial killer is operating in the Seminole Heights area of Tampa, Florida. Police have warned residents to avoid walking in the Seminole Heights neighborhood alone.
On October 9th, 2017, Benjamin Edward Mitchell, 22, a black male, was found severely wounded near a bus stop on 15th Street and East Frierson Avenue. After he was found, authorities immediately brought him to a hospital in the area. The victim would later perish due to the severity of his gunshot wounds.
Mitchell was a Business Management major at Hillsborough Community College. He had no criminal background and the motive for this crime is still unknown. He was the first victim in a timeline of murders which the Tampa police are linking to a serial killer.
On October 13th, 2017, the body of Monica Carridad Hoffa, 32, a white female, was found only 10 blocks away from where Benjamin Mitchell was found. The victim’s body was discovered by a local city worker in a vacant lot. Monica Hoffa was said to have been murdered at least a day or two before her corpse was found. Authorities say she had severe trauma to her upper body but have not explicitly stated the nature of this trauma.
On October 15th, Tampa Police patrolling the Seminole Heights area heard gunshots ring out. They immediately began to canvas the area and would find a third victim. Anthony Naiboa, 20, a black male, was found shot to death on North 15th Street.
The victim was found alone and no witnesses have come forward. Police said in a press conference that the location of Naiboa’s body was only a few hundred yards away from where Benjamin Mitchel was found critically wounded six days earlier.
On November 14th, Police would find the latest victim of an apparent serial killer. Ronald Felton, 60, a black male, was found shot to death by authorities. His body was found at 5 am by Tampa Police after reports of gunfire in the area. Officers alerted to the call were said to be on scene within a minute. Ronald Felton was crossing the street when the serial killer approached him from behind and shot the elderly man.
Because the police were in very close proximity to Felton and were able to find him so quickly, they believe the serial killer was still in the immediate area. Police descended on the Seminole Heights neighborhood in great numbers shortly following the shooting.
Tampa Police began to thoroughly canvas the area in search of the suspect. Authorities have knocked on 1900 doors in the immediate area. Helicopters were deployed to aid in the search of the suspected serial killer. Police have employed K-9 units in their desperate efforts to find the man responsible for these heinous acts.
No arrests have been made in this disturbing string of homicides. Polices are said to be sorting through hundreds of leads. The only evidence they have reported is a video taken the night of the first slaying. While the video was not a recording of any actual crime, it did show a man fleeing the immediate area of the first victim.
Police have not identified this lanky man in a hoodie, but they have released the video in an effort to identify him so they may bring him in for questioning. Police say he is not a suspect but may have seen something or someone that night which would assist in their investigation.
The initial reward for information relating to this case was raised from 25,000$ to 41,000$. Police are currently following up on a number of leads and urge the community to come forward if they have any information relating to murders.
Residents of the Seminole Heights neighborhood are being terrorized. They are being advised not to walk alone in their own neighborhood. Residents who live outside of the neighborhood should avoid traveling there if possible. Police have advised residents living in this neighborhood who own a firearm to “verify that it’s where it needs to be.” Police say the suspect is a thin black male between 6′-6’2″.