‘Mannequin’ on Fire in Florida Field Was Actually a Murder Victim

What started as a nuisance-type incident turned into a Homicide in Ruskin, Florida.

Hillsborough County 911 received a call about a suspicious fire in a field in Ruskin. The caller advised that a “mannequin” was on fire in the field, behind a residential area in the 1100 block of Will Scarlett Avenue.

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Ruskin Murder Scene

When Hillsborough County Deputies and Fire Rescue arrived shortly after 8 a.m. on April 15 to check out the situation and extinguish the fire, they discovered it was not a mannequin on fire but a human body.

Investigators determined the deceased person had “upper body trauma” but could not identify the body because of the “severity of the burns,” the release says. The person’s gender and age could also not be immediately determined. The Hillsborough County medical examiner has not yet completed an autopsy.

According to the sheriff’s office, after an examination of the scene, the case is now being investigated as a homicide.

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“This is a jarring scene,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. “At this time, our deputies are doing everything they can to determine what happened to this person. We believe this is an isolated incident and will continue to work tirelessly until we determine how this horrific crime occurred.”

Ruskin is about 30 miles south of Tampa.

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