Man in custody after body found in burned home - FOX 13 News

Man in custody after body found in burned home

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VALRICO (FOX 13) -

The charred remains of her neighbor's mobile home is unsettling for Nancy Ball -- even worse is what led to it.

"People walk this neighborhood every day, but not this same person back and forth. back and forth, back and forth," she said.

She is talking about the man she saw Sunday evening at Oakhill Villages Mobile Home Park, who, at times, was walking, then riding a bike, and eventually carrying a hammer.

"I leaned closer, and I could see the two prongs in the back of the hammer," she said.

He even talked to her, and made an unusual request.

"He said, ‘ma'am, can you take me to the mental hospital?' And I said, ‘no sir I can't.' But I said I can call the police for you. He said, ‘oh no, don't call the police,' " she said.

She did anyway, and as he took off, she saw a flicker of light.

"I looked and I said, ‘oh must be his lights going off and on again.' And I said, ‘no that is a fire,' " she said.

She snapped a picture as the fire ripped through the mobile home.

When deputies arrived, they found Frank Chapman wandering around the trailer, making comments about setting it on fire.

As deputies arrested Chapman, firefighters made a grisly discover inside the home: they found a body beneath the rubble.

"He was like a real nice grandfather type guy," said neighbor Mike McNulty.

Investigators have charged Chapman with Arson and are still questioning him.

They said he knew the man who died inside the mobile home. Deputies have not yet released his name, but neighbor McNulty knew the victim.

He said he was a hard worker.

"His little golf cart was out here, and I was hoping he wasn't in there, but they found him," he said.

Family members told us he rode that golf cart to work at a produce stand nearby. They said he poured his heart into his job.

Now their hearts aches as they come to grips with his tragic death.

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