THE VILLAGES, Fla. – A body was found Sunday near a burned car in The Villages, prompting a homicide investigation.
The body was discovered in a rural area along County Road 102, east of U.S. Highway 301.
The Sumter County Sheriff's Office said that firefighters found the body of Joel Aaron Curry, 29, a few feet behind the charred 2011 Ford Focus at about 6:12 p.m.
Curry's grandmother told News 6 that detectives came to her home just after midnight Monday to inform her of his death. She said she had a bad feeling after she didn't hear from him Sunday night.
The grandmother said Curry had often struggled to find himself.
Curry has two daughters, 5 and 2 years old.
Eileen Woods, 85, discovered the car still on fire when she came home from church with her two friends Sunday night.
"That's terrible, something mean. It's really terrible," Woods said.
Sumter County Sheriff's Office Capt. Patrick Breeden said the department is investigating if the crime took place at the location where Curry was found or if his body was dumped there after the fact.
"He was the victim of homicide," Breeden said. "At this time we can't release the method of homicide but it was homicidal violence."
Officials said it is possible that the crime was drug-related.
The Sumter County Sheriff's Office has not released any other details.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477) or the Sumter County Sheriff's Office at 352-793-2621.
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