The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an apparent homicide after the body of a 22-year-old Palmetto man was found alongside a road in Parrish.
At 2:21 p.m., bicyclists called in to report that they had spotted a body of a man alongside the 11350 block of Old Tampa Road in Parrish, according to Manatee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dave Bristow.
“There is trauma to the body, and we are treating it like a homicide,” Bristow said.
Later, the victim was identified as Joseph Terrell Allen.
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Allen’s body was down in the ditch, which is likely why motorists were unable to see him, Bristow said. The spokesman added that investigators don’t know exactly when his body was dumped, but it was maybe sometime overnight.
Crime scene technicians and a K9 combed the wooded areas near where the body was found but it is believed he was killed elsewhere. As the scene was processed, curious motorists slowed down, glancing at barricades placed by the side of the road to block the view of the scene. A man on a bicycle rode by, stopping momentarily to watch the scene unfold before him, muttering that it’s rare to see something like this in this area of Parrish.
Allen’s body was later taken away by the Medical Examiner’s Office.
Detectives and Allen’s family are asking anyone with any information to come forward.
“The whole thing is senseless,” stepmother Marvina Allen said, her lips quivering. “The killings in Manatee County, all over the world, they’re senseless.”
Detectives and patrol officers were able to identify a second scene where Allen, who worked as a tattoo artist, was last known to have been in the 2600 block of 15th Street East in Palmetto.
Marvina and Allen’s father, Joe Allen, stood by the scene under an umbrella. Close to 20 people gathered at a nearby corner just beyond crime scene tape, some huddled under umbrellas.
The couple, pastors from Genuine Hope Ministries in Palmetto, said he was last heard from at 10:30 p.m. Monday when he texted his mother and called his fiancee to say he had another tattoo to do.
By Tuesday morning, when his fiancee had not received her usual call from Allen and his sister got his voicemail multiple times when she called, they knew something was wrong.
“His sister got worried. She called me around 9 or 10 a.m. this morning,” the elder Allen said.
Allen was a very quiet guy, but did recently have a fight with someone, his stepmother said. But, she said, they did not know if there was any connection to his death.
"He was a good father to his daughter,” who is 5 years old, she added. “He would love to spend time with her.”
She asked anyone who knows what took place to please come forward.
“There’s nothing too small,” she said.
Allen said he had a good relationship with his son.
“We talked about his future,” the elder Allen said. “He loved kickboxing and tattooing, and was just trying to make a decision of what route he wanted to go.”