MANATEE -- Detectives said Wednesday they believe the shooting deaths are related of a man in East Bradenton at about 12:50 p.m. Tuesday, and a Bradenton woman, whose body was found near the Terra Ceia Preserve State Park 40 minutes later, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
Bradenton police officers investigated a crime scene near the intersection of Eighth Street East and 12th Avenue East after reports of gunshots. They found Karl John Tuxford, 38, hanging out of the driver side of a Jeep. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
At about 1:30 p.m., sheriff's deputies went to the 8600 block of Bishop Harbor Road near Frog Creek after receiving a 911 call about a body. Two motorists out for a drive spotted the body, which was later identified as Jordan Finlon, 23, of Bradenton.
"Detectives have learned that the two victims of yesterday's homicides, Karl Tuxford and Jordan Finlon, were acquaintances," sheriff's office spokesman Dave Bristow announced in a news release. "With that information, detectives believe the two homicides are related."
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Autopsies were performed Wednesday on the victims, but results will not be released at this time, Bristow said.
"We've been told that she was a drug user," he said.
It is unclear if Tuxford had a history of drug use but he did have a criminal history, according to Bristow. No possible motive for the slayings have been released.
Tuxford was on probation at the time of his death for convictions of petty theft, trafficking in stolen property and giving false identification to a secondary metals recycler, according to the Florida Department of Corrections. Tuxford had been placed in a Manatee County drug court intervention program. Tuxford was issued a jail sanction May 7 and ordered into jail immediately.
He was brought to court May 14 and ordered to complete a program at the Suncoast Area Adult Rehabilitation Center in St. Petersburg. Once he completed the program and was released, he was ordered report back to drug court and the probation office.
Tuxford's next scheduled court date had been set for Thursday.
He also has prior convictions for grand theft and burglary of an unoccupied structure for which he was sentenced to 180 days in Lee County jail.
"They were acquaintances," Bristow said of the victims. "We know that she was last seen yesterday."
Detectives believe Finlon was killed shortly before her body was found.
The victims' families are cooperating with the investigation. Detectives are following several leads, Bristow added.
Anyone with any information on the homicides should call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at 941-747-3011, ext. 2519, or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.