ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Orange County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday investigators have found the killer responsible for a 2016 homicide.
Tavon Hill is accused of killing 64-year-old Louis Massa nearly four and a half years ago.
Massa’s body was found covered in a tarp in December 2016. Sheriff’s office records said the body appeared to have been dragged in front of Massa’s car which was parked in the driveway at his home along Terrell Road in Mount Dora near the Orange-Lake County border.
Investigators said there was a significant amount of blood around his body and a large lawn ornament that was also covered in blood and seemed out of place. Massa was also missing several rings and his phone.
A medical examiner deemed Massa’s death a homicide, saying he died due to blunt head trauma, court records show.
Evidence at the scene revealed Massa was bludgeoned as he was arriving home, investigators said. After noting a broken window, deputies said Massa likely interrupted a burglary. However, authorities said there’s no evidence that anyone made their way into Massa’s home.
The victim’s car was also ransacked, with his gun missing from a small compartment, according to a sheriff’s office report. A bloodied Florida State University sweater was also found near the home’s fence.
Neighbors told authorities a man jumped the fence after triggering the house alarm just before deputies arrived. Witnesses helped investigators create a composite sketch which was kept with sheriff’s office records as they continued to investigate the case over the years.
Investigators noted that a burglary also happened less than a mile away from Massa’s home just a few days prior to the homicide. That’s where fingerprints were collected, connecting Hill to that case.
Deputies issued an arrest warrant for Hill in January of this year in connection with the burglary. He was taken into custody Jan. 29.
#ColdCase arrest: OCSO Cold Case detectives have solved the Dec. 2016 murder of Louis Massa, who was found dead & wrapped inside a tarp. Through a @CrimelineFL tip & DNA, detectives were able to identify 20-year-old Tavon Hill as the killer and he was arrested.— Orange County Sheriff's Office (@OrangeCoSheriff) March 10, 2021
Great Job! pic.twitter.com/o6QcIHXITB
After several tips reporting someone named “Peewee” was likely involved in Massa’s death and that he discarded a sweater while trying to run away, deputies questioned Hill about the attempted burglary at the Mount Dora home.
Records show Hill admitted to killing Massa in 2016 at a residence along Terrell Road. He added that he’s known in the community as Peewee, records show.
Hill is now facing a second-degree murder charge. He’s being held in the Orange County Jail without bond.