The Tampa Police Department (TPD) says that a woman whose Body found in an abandoned house in Tampa’s Old Seminole Heights last month was the victim of a murder.
“Linda Harris was found dead in an abandoned house that was about to be demolished,” TPD wrote in the press release. “Construction workers were on a tour of the house when they discovered Harris. She suffered from upper body trauma and her death was determined to be a homicide. “
TPD said detectives search for information about Linda’s activities in the days leading up to her discovery. Detectives ask the population for help. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact CrimeStoppers of Tampa Bay at 1.800.873.TIPS. The family agreed to post a picture of Harris, which can be found at the end of this story.
Tampa Police Department
Last month, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay received a message that the body was found in the house.
On September 28, Tampa Police received a call concerning the body of an unidentified woman found in an abandoned building on the 1800 block of E Sligh Avenue in Old Seminole Heights.
TPD was unable to determine the woman’s exact age at the time, but said she was “partially clothed” and had suffered upper body trauma.
Around 8 a.m., a foreman from JVS Contracting arrived at the abandoned building that was being demolished, JVS Supervisor of Safety and Compliance Matthew Boggs told CL. As usual, the foreman and a construction worker took a tour of the house to make sure no one was in the house.
The front entrance couldn’t be opened, so the foreman and a worker walked around the back door. They were walking through the kitchen of the house and towards a bedroom when the foreman suddenly saw a face. He made noises to wake the woman, thinking she might sleep there.
When the foreman realized that the woman was not only sleeping, he and the worker immediately ran out of the house and called Boggs, who then called the police. Police and fire brigade made their way to the scene, as did Boggs. When he got there, the fire department left the house and the house was turned into a crime scene by the police.
People in the neighborhood were approached by TPD officers and later by TPD Detective Rachel Cholnik. At the time, the neighbors, who wanted to remain anonymous, told CL that TPD officials said they thought the situation was murder. At the time, TPD said they believed it happened at night or early in the morning and asked the neighbors if they heard or saw anything they didn’t. Police told neighbors that it did not look like the woman had been moved to the house after she died as it was difficult to get into the house and there was no evidence that the body was moved.
The house was later demolished after TPD said they had obtained all the evidence they needed from it.
Earlier this month, TPD said WFTS that it has tracked 37 murders since January.
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