Tampa police search for driver who killed homeless man

- It's been nearly two days since Tampa police say a driver hit and killed a homeless man and left him on the side of the road.

Sunday morning, someone found the body of 51-year-old Jess Paez at the intersection of Cleveland Street and Willow Avenue, near the entrance ramp for the Selmon Expressway. So far, there have been no arrests.

With no witnesses, police have very little information to go by. They don't know who hit Paez, what they were driving, or when the crash happened in the overnight hours.

It's a busy intersection. But slowing down at the stop light, you may have taken notice, "There are homeless people that frequent this area," said Joe Hill, who lives near the crash site.

Paez was one of those people. Sunday morning, just before 10 a.m., someone found his body near the Selmon entrance ramp. Tampa police say a driver hit Paez and just kept going.

"We are not sure how many people may have passed by there and not seen the body," said Tampa police spokesperson Steven Hegarty.

One of the biggest challenges right now is pinpointing when exactly the crash happened. It could've been any hour between late Saturday night and early Sunday morning.

"We are waiting for the medical examiner," Hegarty said. "They are going to give us some information when they do the autopsy. We hope that isolates a specific time that we can look at and start looking for surveillance video there."

So far, police say have very few solid tips.

"I hadn't seen or heard anything," Hill said regarding the morning of the crash.

Hill said it's possible that Paez was sleeping when the crash happened.

"They have been known to sleep on the grass, on the sidewalks, so it might have been that no one knew he was actually hit. It's unfortunate but that might have been the case."

Paez is known to police. He's been in and out jail dozens of times for minor crimes. In fact, April 1, he was arrested for solicitation and distribution on public roadways just a block from where he was killed. But, in this case, investigators are seeking justice for him.

"Not sure what we was doing at the time he was hit," Hegarty said. "Regardless of his background or anything else, somebody struck him and they left the scene and that's a very serious matter."

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