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Grindr Hookup Takes a Dark Twist With Grisly Murder; Suspect Found Hiding Under Couch Days Later, Police Say

Florida Man Hid in Victim's Home After Grindr Murder: Officials
Source: Tampa Police Department; MEGA

Lazaro Rojas, 26, was taken into custody at the Tampa home of a man who he is charged with killing during a Grindr meetup.

Nov. 18 2023, Published 2:04 p.m. ET

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A man in Florida has been charged with the gruesome murder of a man he reportedly met on a dating app.

The suspect was arrested after authorities said they found him hiding under a couch in the victim's home in Tampa, where he stayed for days following the killing, reported.

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Police and fire officials conducted a welfare check at the home on Okara Road in Tampa on Nov. 10, according to the Tampa Police Department. They found a man in his 50s unresponsive and wrapped in a blanket who was pronounced dead at the scene, they said.

Authorities also found Lazaro Rojas, 26, hiding under a living room couch in a severe state of dehydration, WFLA-TV reported.

During their investigation, officials learned that Rojas first met the victim, Robert O'Connor, on the dating app Grindr. The pair made plans to meet up at O'Connor's home on Nov. 7, according to several reports.

The men reportedly had sex during this meetup, and afterward, Rojas became angry when O'Connor asked him to leave, according to WTVT-TV.

Investigators said surveillance cameras in the home captured video of Rojas strangling O'Connor and standing on his neck before the victim's body could be seen going limp, the local outlet reported.

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Rojas could then be seen in the video mutilating the victim's body with a large kitchen knife, WTVT reported.

Rojas was taken to a hospital due to his dehydration before being arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Officials believe he had been hiding in the victim's home since the killing.

He remained in custody at the Hillsborough County Jail, officials said.

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The alleged murder occurred just weeks after another deadly situation in Tampa. Early in the morning on Sunday, October 29, a mass shooting during Halloween festivities left two people dead, including a 14-year-old.

The gunfire also resulted in 18 people being hospitalized, according to WFOR-TV.


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