ORLANDO, Fla. – A woman was identified after police said she was found dead in the area of her crashed car on an off-ramp, prompting a 12-hour closure of Interstate 4 in Orlando.
Eastbound lanes of I-4 were closed late Thursday at John Young Parkway and remained shut down through the morning drive and beyond, with authorities reopening the interstate just after 10:30 a.m. Friday.
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Orlando police said the incident, which occurred on I-4 at Orange Blossom Trail, involved a pedestrian, later identified as 39-year-old Teqilla L. Shepherd, who was found dead in the area of her unattended, crashed vehicle on the off-ramp.
“We understand the inconvenience to our community with having I-4 shut down due to this incident,” police said in a since-deleted tweet that was posted more than 10 hours after the interstate was closed. “Based on the suspicious circumstances surrounding this incident, our Homicide Detectives are working with our Traffic Homicide investigators to make sure we collect all the evidence.”
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When asked why the tweet was deleted, police told News 6, “That was posted mistakenly. We are working to provide a more comprehensive update. Apologies for the confusion. We should be getting an update shortly.”
Evidence markers were spotted at the scene and police used drones to assist their investigation.
A tow truck removed a black car from the scene, and a big rig was also spotted nearby as police investigated.
“At this time, we have more questions than answers. Detectives are working to determine what led to this incident and the death of this individual,” police said in an update Friday afternoon.
Anyone with information or dashcam video pertaining to the death investigation or who may have tips on who Shepherd was with earlier is asked to call Orlando Police Department or Crimeline to submit an anonymous tip at 1-800-423-8477.
The roadway is now open. Thank you to the community for your patience. We will be providing an update to the investigation to our media partners via email.— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) January 27, 2023
A tow truck just hauled away a car believed to be involved in this morning’s death investigation on I-4.— Mark Lehman (@MarkLehman6) January 27, 2023
Still no further details from Orlando Police who now say they anticipate reopening Eastbound I-4 within the hour.https://t.co/wNxWjbXEZJ pic.twitter.com/ZJ6y5QNxdC
🚨 TRAFFIC ALERT 🚨— “Trooper Steve” Montiero (@TrooperSteve_) January 27, 2023
EB I-4 at John Young Pkwy
- EB I4 diverted to JYP
- Express lanes open
- Fatal crash just west of JYP#Traffic #Friday pic.twitter.com/3OjEaCQJSt
Stay with News 6 and ClickOrlando.com for updates on this developing story.