fla cold case
Source: Orange County Sheriff; MEGA

Mar. 12 2021, Updated 12:37 p.m. ET

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Authorities have solved a four-year-old cold case in Florida with the help of tips and DNA, authorities announced.

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On Dec. 2, 2016, deputies with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office found the bloodied body of Louis Massa, 64, wrapped in a tarp in the driveway of his Mount Dora home. 

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While investigating the scene, officers took into evidence a lawn ornament and a Florida State University sweater, both of which were covered in blood. The victim’s car was ransacked and a gun kept in the glove compartment was missing, along with several rings and a cell phone.

At the time, investigators believed Massa may have interrupted a burglary since a window at his home was broken but there was no sign of entry. Neighbors provided investigators the description of a man who they saw hop a fence 

A medical examiner determined Massa’s death was a homicide caused by blunt-force trauma to the head. 

On March 10, OCSO cold case detectives announced they cracked the nearly five-year-old unsolved murder after they recently received several anonymous tips that a person nicknamed “Peewee” was likely involved and dropped a sweater while fleeing the crime scene, Orlando’s WKMG-TV reported.

Investigators connected DNA evidence retrieved from the sweater found on Massa’s property with 20-year-old Tavon Derron Lavar Hill, who was known on the street as “Peewee” and had been in custody since the end of January in connection with a burglary less than a mile from Massa’s home.

Records show Hill allegedly confessed to the murder, according to WKMG-TV.

Hill faces a second-degree murder charge and is being held without bail in the Orange County Jail.


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