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Suspicious death investigation underway in orange grove on 80 Foot Road in Polk County

Posted at 2:15 PM, Mar 28, 2019

BARTOW, Fla. — Deputies with the Polk County Sheriff's Office are investigating a suspicious death in an orange grove in Bartow.

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Authorities say the body of 21-year-old Joseph Witherington, of Lakeland, was found in an orange grove off of Mud Lake Road, across from 80 Foot Road. His body was found by grove caretakers around 7:45 a.m. Thursday.

They say Witherington was killed and left in the grove by an unknown suspect, or suspects.

"If anyone has information about the violent death of this young man, you can and will remain anonymous AND be eligible for a CASH reward by contacting Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8477), or submit a tip through their website or mobile app," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. "Someone knows what happened to Joseph and how he ended up in that orange grove, and one way or another we will identify and arrest whoever is responsible. You might as well make some money - call Crime Stoppers."

No other information was immediately available.

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