Murder victim identified as 32-year-old woman

Image 1 of 4

Tampa city workers made a horrifying discovery in an empty field Friday morning, setting off a murder investigation in Seminole Heights.

A lawn maintenance crew arrived to mow the lawn of a small field on New Orleans Avenue near Nebraska Avenue and discovered the body of Monica Hoffa, 32.

Although Tampa police said Hoffa suffered "upper body trauma," several neighbors said they heard gunshots two days earlier.

"I heard about five gunshots: pow, pow, pow, pow," said Romano Whitley, who lives across from the field. "I came outside and I looked, I didn't see anything, I didn't hear any cars."

Police investigated the report of gunshots Wednesday night but didn't find anything. No one saw anyone leaving the field.

Neighbors wish they could have done something to help Hoffa.

"To know that we had someone that close there, maybe if we had known that she was there, maybe we could have helped save her or something," said Whitley. "It's very, very disturbing."

"First time in 10 years anything like this has even come close to happening," added Janice Thornton. "I really find it very sad that this happened."

Anyone with information about a possible gunman should call the police.