Cold case solved 14 years after wheelchair-dependent woman killed outside home

Courtesy: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

Deputies have arrested Jonathan Burns 14 years after a woman was found dead outside her mobile home in the Nature’s Trail Mobile Home Park in Thonotosassa.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Burns called 911 on July 17, 2007, shortly after 1 a.m., and said he and the victim had been in a fight.

When deputies arrived they found the victim, who was dependent on a walker and wheelchair, dead from upper body trauma.  

HCSO says Burns did not speak to law enforcement, and the case was presented to the State Attorney’s Office which determined there was insufficient evidence to refute the defendant's version of events.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit revisited the case in 2021. As a result of interviews conducted, new evidence was discovered, ultimately leading to Burns’ arrest.

"We know that every cold case represents long-awaited answers for the family and friends of victims, and that is why our Cold Case Unit is so passionate and dedicated to solving these crimes," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "Thanks to the hard work of our investigators, we are now able to not only bring closure to loved ones but bring a murderer to justice."

Burns has been charged with first-degree murder.