Crime

At first they saw smoke, then they made a grisly discovery

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office is investigating a death after a body was found on fire behind a vacant Tampa home.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office is investigating a death after a body was found on fire behind a vacant Tampa home.

A man’s burning body was found by someone walking their dog behind a Hillsborough County home Thursday morning.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Colonel Donna Lusczynski told reporters a neighborhood resident was walking their dog around 8:40 a.m. when they saw smoke from behind a home in the 12000 block of North Oregon Street in Tampa.

When the person checked behind the house, they saw the body on fire and called 911.

Deputies arrived to find the body “engulfed in flames” and used a fire extinguisher to attempt to douse the flames. Hillsborough County Fire and Rescue crews also came to the scene, and the victim was pronounced dead when EMS arrived.

The identity of the victim is unknown and deputies are working to get a search warrant for the property, which Lusczynski told reporters has been vacant for about two months.

Right now, it’s too early to determine how the victim died or if they were dead before the fire was set, Lusczynski said.

They believe the victim was a black male in his late teens or early twenties.

The sheriff’s office is investigating the death.

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