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