Foul play suspected in St. Pete man's disappearance - FOX 13 News

Foul play suspected in St. Pete man's disappearance

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Police in St. Petersburg are looking for a missing man, and they're concerned that foul play could have led to his disappearance.

Kevin Lawya, age 56, was last seen last Thursday.  Lawya's 2009 Toyota Tacoma pickup was found Wednesday afternoon on a dead end street next to Interstate 275. 

"We can't go into detail about what we found," St. Petersburg Police spokesman Bill Proffitt said. "But there was evidence of foul play at the truck sufficient enough for us to call in some forensic people and process that truck like a crime scene."

Proffitt said a co-worker called police late Friday after the usually-punctual Lawya did not come to work and could not be reached by cell phone.  Officers found nothing amiss at the man's home in the 2500 block of 15th Avenue North, and took no action. 

The same co-worker called back with the same concerns Monday.  This time, the employee used a key to get into Lawya's home and found his dog inside. 

The police broadcast a "be on the look out" alert, which led to the discovery of his truck. 

Proffitt said homicide detectives are working the case and would like to speak to anyone who knows where the man is, or may have seen him since last week. 

"We don't know where Mr. Lawya is, or what happened to him, but we believe foul play is involved and we'd like the community's help to try to locate him," Proffitt said.

Guards at the Point Brittany complex were instructed to turn reporters away, and Proffitt said there is no known connection between Lawya's disappearance and his work. 

He also said it is too early to know whether anything about Lawya's personal life might expose him to dangerous situations. 

"None of his friends or relatives have heard from him either," Proffit added. "So right now, it's a mystery, we'd like to find him, or find out what happened to him."

While the investigation continues, detectives are hoping anyone with information about Lawya's location to call them at (727) 893-7780. Anonymous tipsters can use the SPPD tip line at (727) 892-5000 or text to (727) 420-8911.

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