NewsCitrus, Hernando County


FHP: Man hits pedestrian in Weeki Wachee, dumps body behind bait shop

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Posted at 6:07 PM, Jun 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-06 18:07:17-04

A 28-year-old was arrested after officials say he killed a pedestrian and tried to hide the body early Sunday morning.

Florida Highway Patrol said around 12:10 a.m., a pedestrian was killed after a crash with a vehicle near the intersection of Cortez Boulevard and Steuben Street.

The driver, 28-year-old Joseph Strickland, picked up the victim's remains and moved them to the back of Dixie Lee Bait Shop at 6408 Evanston Street in Spring Hill.

FHP said Strickland then called several friends to push his disabled car, which hit the pedestrian, to his home. He explained he hit a deer.

Strickland then spray-painted damaged portions of his car, showered and went to sleep, FHP said.

Sunday morning around 8 a.m., Strickland's roommate saw the car, saw the damage was not from hitting a deer and called the police, FHP said.

Hernando County deputies and the Pasco County Sheriff's Office searched and found the victim behind the bait shop. At the same time, troopers discovered a human leg along the shoulder of Cortez Blvd.

Strickland attempted to flee when law enforcement came to his home, but he was soon arrested.

Strickland was charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving a death, tampering with evidence, no valid driver's license involving a death and no insurance.