Detectives gather evidence in brutal Tampa apartment killing - FOX 13 News

Detectives gather evidence in brutal Tampa apartment killing

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Investigators have not released the identity of the victim, a Hispanic male. Investigators have not released the identity of the victim, a Hispanic male.
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Carmen Gonzalez says it's an image she won't soon forget.

She had stumbled upon the scene of a brutal crime.

"Ugh, gruesome, gruesome," she recalled. "Too bad; I never seen nothing like that."

Gonzalez was visiting a friend early Saturday morning at small apartment complex on East 140th Avenue in Tampa. Suddenly one of her friend's neighbors went running by, pleading for help.

"Unfortunately when I came to say how you doing, the guy from apartment comes running in and said my friend is dead," Gonzalez added.

Investigators with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, say an unidentified Hispanic male, was found dead in his locked apartment. The victim's roommate had to forces his way inside when he found the body.

Gonzalez says the dead man's injuries will haunt her for a long time to come.

"It seemed like he was mutilated," she said. "[He was] really badly cut up like with a machete or ax; his face was cut up, open from here to here."

A Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office report states the man died from upper body trauma, but would not release an official cause of death or what kind of weapon was used.

Gonzalez identified the victim as a man known throughout the neighborhood as ‘Papi.' She says he worked as a landscaper and sent what he earned back home to his mother in Central America.

"He was in his 20s, . . A hard-working guy," Gonzalez said in describing the victim.

Detectives say there was a party at the apartment complex on Friday night. The death may have been preceded by an argument.

Gonzalez says she can't imagine anyone wanting to hurt ‘Papi.'

"He didn't bother nobody or look for trouble with nobody," Gonzalez added.  "As far as I know he didn't have any enemies at all."

For now Gonzalez other her neighborhood will pray for the victim and his family.  family in their thoughts.

Gonzalez: "I'm going to pray for his soul, and I feel sorry for the family and his mom; [he was] a good son."

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