Group scours streets for clues in Seminole Heights killings

- Tampa police officers are working day and night to track down a killer in southeast Seminole Heights.

Since early October, four people have been killed within several blocks of each other, and their families still have no answers.

Thursday night, a group of people from the community hit the streets in hopes of giving them closure. They played the role of detectives, searching the road, searching the grass, looking for any pieces of evidence left behind. 

The group is small, but their intentions are big.

"It has to stop. It has to stop now," said a man who did not want to be identified. "This is our city and we will not let someone come and take over Tampa."

They don't want us to show their faces. All they want is for the killer to be caught.

"I just said in my mind, hey, this is enough," he said. "We need to help law enforcement, we need to bring the community out and have the community help law enforcement."

In the last six weeks, Benjamin Mitchell, Monica Hoffa, Anthony Naiboa, and Ronald Felton were shot and killed. Felton was killed just Tuesday morning.

"It's senseless. This could be my sister. This could be my auntie. This could be my mother," the man said.

The group walked about two miles, stopping at each memorial and keeping their eyes to the ground.

"What I'm out here mainly for is looking for clues," he explained to the group. "Shirts, pants, socks, gloves, anything, bandanas, anything."

On the side of the road, he found a piece of paper with a handwritten word: "free."

It could be nothing. But if it's something, it's now in the hands of investigators.

"This could be evidence. This could be evidence," he said. "I'm definitely going to turn it in."

Thursday, Governor Rick Scott directed Florida Highway Patrol to send extra officers to Seminole Heights, which is already heavily patrolled by Tampa police and FDLE. The group hopes that will encourage more to join them.

"We need more of the community to come out and walk with us," he said. "Don't be scared. I promise you there's law enforcement at every corner."

Moates Florist is just a few yards away from Felton was killed.

"Hashtag Seminole Heights Strong," said Lajuanda Barrera of Moates Florist as she read the sign newly placed outside.

They're not about to let a criminal tear the community apart.

"It's just saying that we are going to be here every day, once this man is captured, and continue on in rebuilding what he has taken away from us. He truly has. He has robbed us. All of us," Barrera said.

Until then, the group will continue walking the streets.

"He will be caught. One way or the other, you will be caught you will not walk in 2018," the man leading the walk said.

The group will be walking the streets once again this Saturday at 3 p.m., starting at Nebraska Avenue and Caracas Street. They hope many more people will be able to join them.

The reward for an arrest is now up to $100,000, thanks to a $9,000 donation by Richard Gonzmart.

If you have any information of these killings, no matter how minor, call Crimestoppers.

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