An elderly man was found dead in his apartment in Tarpon Springs early Friday morning. Police are telling us he was murdered inside his apartment is on N. Ring Avenue, right across the street from City Hall.
His family was finally able to get into 73-year-old Eddie Dixon's apartment late Friday and check on his personal belongings. And his neighbors made sure their doors and windows were locked extra tight from now on.
"I miss my neighbor and he didn't deserve this," said his neighbor Liz. "It's sad for all of us, all the neighbors and all his friends and especially his family."
Liz was Dixon's next-door neighbor and close friend for ten years.
"And he was a very good and gentle man," she said. "He was a Vietnam Vet, I've known him, since I was probably in my 20's."
By all accounts, the elderly man, who walked with a walker, was a kind, sweet retiree with lots of family and friends in Pinellas and Pasco counties.
"He liked to laugh a lot," she said, her eyes tearing up.
The walls in their modest apartments are thin enough Liz said, she can't believe she didn't hear a sound from next door, because she was unable to sleep and had been up watching TV with her dog.
"Normally, he would bark at every little leaf like he usually does, but he didn't, and that's what hurts," she said. "I didn't hear anything, and my dog didn't bark."
No sound she heard, until Dixon's caretaker came to check on him early Friday morning.
"I heard his caretaker come and scream, went out and asked, what's wrong? Won't he open the door?," she said. "She screamed, he's gone!"
Tarpon Police Sergeant Edward Miller said Dixon was murdered sometime between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m.
"We're treating it as a homicide," said Miller. "We're not releasing any specific details in relation to the death."
Neighbors told us they believe he had been stabbed, but why him?
"Probably drugs," speculated Liz. "Because they have money. Beginning of the month you get your check, people that do drugs need money."
The apartment complex sits adjacent to the Pine Street and the Pinellas Trail.
"Obviously the Pinellas Trail is used by many people, it could have been an escape route or a way to get in there. We're not saying it's part of it."
But it could be another lead, if anyone saw anything suspicious early Friday morning.
"You have to look for your neighbors, especially the elderly," she said.
Now the focus is on several security cameras. Were they working and did "they" catch Dixon's killer?
"And those security cameras work? And they catch the person? God bless the cameras!," she said.
Tarpon Police hope to learn something from those security video cameras, which hopefully were active and recording. Eddie Dixon's family is grieving his loss and planning his funeral.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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