NEW PORT RICHEY - On a street in New Port Richey that looks more like a river, there's one corner where the current gains strength and speed.
It's the spot where neighbors witnessed a man go under while pushing his bike Wednesday morning.
"I couldn't believe it was him because I just saw him two hours earlier," said Mandy Hart. "I'm more in shock. It hasn't really set in."
A few years ago, Hart's family befriended a homeless man they call "Dave".
He'd often sleep on their couch and leave in the morning to work on odd jobs around town.
Wednesday morning, Hart, 16, cooked breakfast for Dave and the rest of her family at her house off Elfers Parkway near Little Road.
Dave planned to leave for one of his jobs, Hart says, braving feet of flood waters caused by an overflowing Anclote River.
"I told him not to go and he still did," Hart remembered." He only weighs 15 lbs. more than me and the current's really strong through here."
An hour later, neighbors several hundred yards away found a body floating in their backyard.
Though the Pasco County Sheriff's Office has not released the identity of the man's body, Hart and her family are sure it's Dave. Hart says she even helped detectives confirm his name.
"It's hit a few people kind of hard," said Samuel Stevenson.
Stevenson calls Dave a regular in his neighborhood, someone everyone knew, and a man he also joined for breakfast Wednesday.
"About an hour later we hear, 'Found a body in the water.' Come to find out it was somebody we just saw not that long ago," Stevenson said.
Tuesday, hundreds of residents evacuated flooded roads in Pasco County. Still, even as the river crested that evening, many took a risk and refused to leave.
While on patrol with FWC officers, I spoke to the man neighbors identify as Dave.
When I asked him why he planned to stay, he said the water level was receding, and there was no reason to go.
Hart's little sister, Shyann, remembers when her mom told her the news that he died.
"She's like, 'They found a dead person.' I'm like, 'Oh my God, someone died,'" Shyann said. "Now he's just gone."
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