St. Petersburg police identify victims in double homicide, suspicious fire

Victim's truck found in Tampa

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Police have identified two men found dead inside a burned home in St Petersburg.

Bruce Johnson, 51, and Arthur Regula, 36, were found under the burnt rubble of a home on 4th Avenue N.  

The two were victims, according to police, of homicidal violence.

"We think both these men, " Mike Puetz with St Pete Police, would tell us, "were probably targeted.  The motive, we don't know yet."

Puetz would go on to tell us that both men were working on renovations at the home when they were killed, and that whoever was responsible tried to cover it up by setting the fire.

"There were elements found inside the house that, according to a trained arson investigator," Puetz said, "clearly show that the fire was intentionally set."

Residents in this Kenwood neighborhood are now leaving flowers and balloons in the front yard.

"Nobody heard anything," said Laura Bechtel, a neighbor.  "Nobody saw anything. But we were all out and about. So, it is extremely disturbing for this to happen in our neighborhood."

Police say an initial medical examination of the bodies by the medical examiner indicated that the two men were killed before the fire was set.

Earlier Monday, Tampa Police discovered a 2004 Ford pick-up truck that St Pete investigators believe belonged to one of the victims, Arthur Regula. 

The truck was found burnt out in the area of Columbus Dr. and MacDill Ave in Tampa.  The belief is that whoever was responsible for the murders may have used that truck to flee the scene.

"Scary," said Lisa Berardo, a neighbor.  "You Know. Very, very scary. It hits at home.  You know you just wonder why?"

All we spoke to, felt the eclectic bohemian-like street was outside the violent turmoil that grabs the headlines.

But now, one of those headlines is of their neighborhood.

"It's unfortunate," said Ron Salvage, a resident.

Anyone with any information in this case is being urged to call the St. Petersburg Police at (727) 893-7780.

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