Person of interest in custody in Ocala homicide investigation

Investigators put out fire, found victim dead, deputies say

Marion County deputies are conducting a homicide investigation (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – Marion County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday they have a person of interest in custody as they investigate a homicide in Ocala.

The incident happened Friday near SW 103rd Street Road and SW 75th Terrace in Ocala’s Hidden Oaks neighborhood.

MCSO deputies arrived around noon after getting called to conduct a well-being check. As deputies arrived at the home, they smelled something burning inside, according to a news release.

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Marion County Fire Rescue was called to assist and found a small fire inside the home. Firefighters quickly extinguished the flames, deputies said. Investigators eventually found a dead person inside the home.

“Due to the heinous nature of this crime, detectives are awaiting forensic results to positively identify the victim. At this time, a next-of-kin notification has not been made pending those results,” investigators said in a news release.

The sheriff’s office said a person of interest is in custody but that the individual was arrested on unrelated charges.

MCSO is now asking for tips. Anyone with more information is asked to call Detective Billy Burleson at 352-368-3542 or to remain anonymous, call Marion County Crime Stoppers at 352-368-STOP.