Body at UF likely victim of homicide

Man found dead at housing complex


University Police stand in front of Maguire Village building 382, where a man was found dead.

LEE FERINDEN/Special to The Sun
Published: Monday, January 5, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 5, 2004 at 1:00 a.m.

A man found dead inside a University of Florida housing complex Sunday was apparently the victim of a homicide, the first to occur on campus in at least 25 years, authorities said.

Facts

FYI: Homicide

  • The last on-campus murder was at Thomas Hall in the early 1970s.

  • University Police was called to the Maguire Village complex about 4 p.m. by a resident manager after two visitors reported being unable to reach a friend who lived in one of the apartments, UPD spokesman Lt. Joe Sharkey said.

    Police entered the first-floor apartment in building 382 with a key, and found the body of a man, whom police initially described as being of Indian descent, in a back bedroom, Sharkey said. The residence showed no apparent signs of forced entry, police said.

    Police were unable to determine the victim's identity Sunday night and could not say when he died or whether he lived at the residence. When asked how authorities determined the nature of the death, Sharkey said, "There were instances to our investigators that make it very obvious."

    "We are in the process of trying to determine who the person is, if he is a UF student, if he lived in the apartment," Sharkey said.

    The 220-apartment complex, which opened in 1972, has one- and two-bedroom apartments for married and professional students off SW 34th Street.

    Several residents, who declined to be named, described the complex as quiet, and said it is easy to hear sounds from neighbors' apartments through walls and ceilings.

    On Sunday night, several students stopped on the way to the laundry room or playgrounds to watch police working at the scene, standing in small groups outside the yellow crime scene tape marking off the building.

    Wind chimes suspended from the structure's ceiling sounded as investigators from UPD and the Alachua County Sheriff's Office crime scene investigation team opened and closed the door of the first-floor apartment.

    UPD victim advocates were called to the scene by police and, at one point, spoke with a man who was described as a friend of the apartment's tenant. After speaking with officials the man, who did not give his name, said he was advised not to speak with anyone about the case.

    University officials declined to make any statements, according to UF spokeswoman Ronnie Lovler, and referred all comment on the case to Sharkey.

    The homicide is the first to occur on campus in at least 25 years. Sharkey said the last on-campus murder was at Thomas Hall in the early 1970s.

    Rachel Kipp can be reached at 374-5086 or kippr@gvillesun.com.

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