Funeral set for man found dead in car


Published: Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 9:37 p.m.

A funeral will be held in Haines City on Monday afternoon for the man who was found dead inside his car after it had been ticketed seven times by Gainesville employees over two weeks.

John Waldo, 42, who had been an engineer at AvMed, will be buried following a funeral service at Oak Ridge Funeral Care in Haines City.

A funeral home representative said the family has asked friends to gather at the funeral home for a visitation beginning at noon and the funeral service will begin at 1 p.m.

One relative unlikely to attend is Waldo's only son, Matthew John Waldo, 22, who is being held in a state prison a few miles from the funeral home.

Matthew Waldo is serving time at Polk Correctional Institution for a technical violation of his probation in multiple attempted burglary cases, according to prison records and the Waldo family attorney, Norliza Batts.

"He [Matthew] is scheduled to be released on April 18, but they won't let him attend his own father's funeral without paying for deputies or officers to escort him," said Batts. "The family doesn't have any money and he [John Waldo] died without a will so this has to go through probate."

While the Waldo family handles the civil and funeral details associated with Waldo's death, Gainesville Police said they are working to figure out how and why Waldo died.

Waldo's death has attracted national attention because during the two weeks that his car was parked along a street in the College Park neighborhood, city workers issued seven parking tickets, including one issued on Feb. 12, the day after Waldo was last seen alive.

An autopsy did not turn up an obvious cause of death, so police and the medical examiner's office are awaiting toxicology results, which may take another five or six weeks.

Police are also looking for clues from the people believed to be the last to see Waldo alive.

According to police, Waldo was out by himself on Feb. 11 and wound up at Calico Jack's Oyster Bar on SW 2nd Avenue.

However, witnesses said Waldo left the establishment with others and police want to know whether Waldo drove his BMW or if someone else drove the car to where it was found parked in the 1900 block of NW 2nd Avenue.

Anyone with information about Waldo's disappearance or other case details is asked to contact Detective Bennie Smith at 334-2488.

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