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Killing Spree Brings Halloween Horror to Life

Michaela Fromme

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Halloween has always upheld its classic, annual spooky-yet-fun vibe, but there are no treats this year for Tampa, Florida residents who are currently in the midst of a killing spree.
The killings first started on October ninth when college student and aspiring musician, 22-year-old Benjamin Mitchell, who was waiting alone at a bus stop around 9 PM, was shot and killed.
Two nights after the death of Benjamin Mitchell, Monica Hoffa, a 32-year-old waitress, went missing and two nights after that, her body, already been dead for two nights, was found shot in a vacant lot half a mile away from where Mitchell’s body was found.
Six days later, autistic, 20-year-old Anthony Naiboa had ended up in Seminole Heights by mistake after getting on the wrong bus. His lifeless body was found on the sidewalk, 200 yards away from the bus where he had started to walk home, and about a block away from where Mitchell was killed.
All of the victims were alone at the time of their death and found in very close proximity of each other. There is no apparent motive for their deaths so far, but Brian Dugan, Interim Tampa Police Chief, believes that these murders are linked. The idea of a serial killer roaming the quiet neighborhood of Seminole Heights alone is enough to arouse fear on anyone, but what really causes you to wonder is the video Tampa Police had recently released. This video is from the night of October ninth, when the first murder took place. In it, a man dressed in an oversized coat with a hood, light colored pants, and shoes is seen walking casually towards the crime scene, with his phone in hand, but later seen sprinting back into the direction of where he came from. Tampa Police do not believe he is a suspect at this time, instead calling him a “person of interest.” They believe this man witnessed the murder of Benjamin Mitchell and ran as soon as he realized what was happening. There are no leads as to figuring out who this mysterious man is so far, since his head was covered by his coat’s hood. The only thing police have to tie him with an identity is from the way he flips his cell phone in the video.
There have been no more murders so far, but the killer has still not been found. The case is running cold as police have no suspects or clues to link them to a certain person or people. Meanwhile, burned out street lights have been replaced, leaves that create shadows over the street have been trimmed, and debris from alleyways have been removed. Police are accompanying children walking home from school or to bus stops, but everyone remains perplexed, on-edge, and unconvinced that it is safe enough to allow their children to roam the neighborhood streets at night to trick-or-treat.

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