A grieving father sat outside of a funeral home, his daughter’s ashes in his hands. She was reported missing after walking to meet friends. Two days later, her body was found shot to death in a vacant lot. Monica Hoffa was one of three young people murdered within 10 days in the Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa.
Police believe the three shooting deaths are related and fear there is a serial killer on the loose.
The Guardian Angels have organized volunteers to help patrol school bus stops, but residents are concerned. Parents are keeping a closer watch as are law enforcement. The FBI is searching for a motive that could lead to capturing the killer.
“Someone knows who this is”
The Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan has released video briefings in an effort to keep the community informed.
Benjamin Mitchell, 22, was shot at a bus stop on October 9, 32-year-old Monica Hoffa’s body was discovered on October 13, and Anthony Naioba, 20, was gunned down on October 19.
All three murders occurred within a one-mile radius.
Police have not released information as to why they believe the murders are related, but they have released a grainy video of a possible suspect.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, “They’re not going to quit until they catch this guy.”
A $25,000 reward is offered for information leading to an arrest.
Here is our previous article about this case:
Residents in the Tampa area are on highest alert following a string of murders which has left officials believing they are searching for a serial killer.
Officers in the Seminole Heights neighborhood reportedly heard gunshots around 8 p.m. Thursday night. The search for the source brought a terrible finding – the body of a 20-year-old man.
The man was identified as recent Middleton High School graduate Anthony Naiboa. His parents had reported him missing when he did not return home on time. According to reports, Naiboa, who had autism, took the wrong bus home from work and wound up in Seminole Heights.
Naiboa is the third murder victim found within a one-mile radius in just 10 days.
Tampa police believe the murders are likely the work of a serial killer. They have issued stern warnings for residents including keeping porch lights on and not going out alone.
Law enforcement utilized helicopters, SWAT team, and canine units, but were not able to locate a suspect.
There are no known leads in the case.
The Interim Police Chief, Brian Dugan, was quick to state that this should not cause panic or keep the community hostage, but citizens should exercise caution.
The body of Benjamin Mitchell, 22, was discovered on October 9 at a bus stop on 15th Street and East Frierson Avenue. Mitchell was also shot and killed.
Four days later, Monica Hoffa’s body was discovered a few blocks away in a vacant lot on East New Orleans Avenue.
The Tampa Police Department has posted briefings and updates on their official FaceBook page. Citizens are asked to follow their feed for the latest, most reliable updates directly from the department.
Crimestoppers and the ATF are joining forces to offer an $18,000 reward. Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477). You may remain anonymous.