A 27-year-old man identified as Corey Watkins has been arrested in last week's murder of Will Hodges, who was found dead behind a shopping center in Pinellas Park. Watkins has been charged but denies any involvement. (more)
Watkins, who is a transient, came to the attention of detectives after his fingerprints were found in the blood of the victim, whose body had been left in a dumpster behind the Shoppes at Park Place at 7310 US Highway 19 North.
"Watkins was located in the early morning hours of [Sunday] and taken into custody without incident," police spokesman Sgt. Michael Lynch said. "During the questioning of Watkins he admitted to having previously stayed at the location where the homicide occurred, but he denied any knowledge of the death of Mr. Hodges."
Watkins was booked into the Pinellas County Jail and charged with one count of second-degree murder. "The investigation will continue by detectives to try and determine a motive for the murder," Sgt. Lynch added, providing no further information.
The body of Hodges, who was 38 and formerly of St. Petersburg, was found at about 6:15 p.m. on November 19 when two individuals were collecting cardboard from the area around the dumpsters at The Shoppes at Park Place.