Law enforcement authorities on Florida’s west coast are seeking the public’s help after a mother was killed in the street right next to her car while her toddler son was found unharmed and asleep in the backseat.
According to a press release from the Tampa Police Department, officers at approximately 10 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 30 responded to a 911 call in the 10700 block of Pictorial Park Drive inside of the Easton Park subdivision in New Tampa. Police say that the caller reported seeing an adult female who appeared to be unconscious lying on the ground on the side of a residential street.
Upon arriving at the scene, first responders located the adult female next to her Ford EcoSport SUV, pronouncing her dead on the scene. Police say that the victim was in her 20s and sustained “upper body trauma” and confirmed that her death was being investigated as a homicide.
After finding the victim’s body, officers then discovered a male toddler sleeping in a car seat in the back of the SUV. The female victim was identified as the child’s mother. The toddler was unharmed and has since been placed in the care of a relative, according to police.
“Homicide detectives are actively investigating the incident and speaking with neighbors,” the release states, adding, “The deceased does not appear to reside in the neighborhood.”
Police have not revealed the identity of the victim nor have they released any additional details about her injuries.
“This is an absolute tragedy,” TPD spokesperson Crystal Clark said in an interview with St. Petersburg cable news network Spectrum Bay News 9. “We have a woman in her 20s who is now deceased and a toddler who is going to grow up without a mother because of what happened. So the best thing we can do for this family is bring justice to them and that requires the public coming forward.”
Investigators noted that the victim did not live in the area where her body was found, indicating that she likely knew her attacker and was likely meeting someone at the location when she was killed, Bay News 9 reported. The station also noted that the location where the victim was killed is in a relatively high-traffic area, leading police to believe there is a high likelihood that someone witnessed the crime.
Authorities are urging residents in the area of the crime with cameras outside of their homes to check the footage for anything that may help with the investigation. Anyone with information related to the incident should phone the police department at 813-231-6130 or through the TampaPD mobile app.
(image via TPD)
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