BRADENTON - The owners of two Bradenton businesses are shocked and saddened at the apparently violent death of a 60-year-old homeless man who lived behind their buildings for two years.
Jeff and Christy Mohler, owners of Griggs Plumbing, 1317 12th Ave. W., say one of their employees found Daniel Case dead behind the business this morning.
Police are investigating Case's death as an apparent homicide, according to Bradenton Police Deputy Chief William Tokajer. A cause of death has also not been released.
The employee called police about 8 a.m. after finding Case covered in blood, slumped over in a chair behind Griggs Plumbing and the adjacent Pedro & Jesus Tire Shop, 1201 14th St. W.
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The Mohlers and the owners of the tire shop allowed Case to live behind their buildings.
“He was a really nice man,” said Kristy Mohler. “Always asking if there was anything he could do around to help.”
Mohler said Case spoke of being a Vietnam veteran who later became disabled on a construction site and lost his job. He slept on a cot behind the businessess but mostly kept to himself, according to Jesus Martinez, co-owner of the tire shop.
“He was a very nice guy. He never did anything to anybody,” Martinez said.
The Mohlers said Case had recently been talking about getting his life in order, and had a hearing in two weeks to get Social Security benefits flowing. He also talked about re-uniting with his daughters, who he had not seen in 17 years, Christy Mohler said.
“He said he wanted to get a place and get back in contact with his daughters,” she said. “It is such a waste. No matter where he lived, he was a human being looking to get his life straight, and then this happens. It is just so senseless.”