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Homicide Investigation

On October 10, 2013, at approximately 6:30 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to 215 West Belmar Street in reference to a Strong Armed Robbery. The victim, John J. Papay, 83, called the police department from his residence to report the robbery. Papay stated that he went for his morning walk and was struck from behind at least once in the head causing him to fall to the ground. An unknown suspect then took his wallet and Papay stated that he only got a glimpse of the suspect and could not identify him.

Papay was transported to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center for treatment due to a severe head injury he received from the robbery. The case was assigned to Violent Crimes Detective Tim McDonald. Detective McDonald worked the case reviewing all potential evidence. On January 29, 2014, Detective McDonald  contacted the a family member of Papay to see if there was any improvements in his condition at which time Detective McDonald was informed  that Papay had passed away while in care at the Lakeland Regional Medical Center on December 18th, 2013.  The hospital advised the detective that Papay had died due to unrelated causes not related to the robbery.

The Medical Examiner was notified and ruled the death of Papay was the result of the injuries he received in the robbery. The Lakeland Police Department then notified the State Attorney’s Office that the robbery had transcended into a homicide.

No other details are being released at this point and anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Lakeland Police Department at 863-834-6900, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477.

• Reported to LPD on 10/10/13
• Papay dies in the care of LRMC on 12/18/13
• LPD Det. McDonald notified of death on 1/29/14


Crime Stoppers Bulletin - Request for Information in Homicide

On Thursday, October 10, 2013, at approximately 6:30 a.m., 83 year old John Papay was returning from his morning walk when he was struck in the head from behind, knocked to the ground and robbed. Mr. Papay was in the alleyway that runs east and west next to his residence at 215 ½ W. Belmar Street when he was struck by the unknown assailant. He was transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center where he was hospitalized with a severe head injury which required surgery. In mid-December, Mr. Papay died as a result of the injuries he sustained.

Lakeland Police are asking anyone with information on this incident to contact the Lakeland Police Department at 863-834-6900, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, you must contact Crime Stoppers.

LPD Event #13-19898          Detective Tim McDonald


Crime Stoppers Bulletin - Need to ID Larceny Grand Theft Suspects

         

CS Bulletin #14-05

Need to Identify - Larceny Grand Theft Suspects

On January 16, 2014, two white females and two white males entered the Target Store located at 4005 Highway 98 N and while there, the white female wearing the blue shirt took two pair of headphones totaling $448.00. The white female wearing a white shirt and the two white males wearing black shirts served as look-outs.

If anyone has information on the identification of these individuals, please contact Lakeland Police Department at 863-834-6900 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, you must contact Crime Stoppers.

LPD Event #14-1132          Detective Scott Kercher


Crime Stoppers Bulletin - Attempt to Identify Kidnapping/Armed Robbery Suspect

CS Bulletin #14-04

Attempt to Identify - Kidnapping, Armed Robbery Suspect

On Wednesday, January 14, 2014, at 1:30 a.m., the victim was approached at 210 N Missouri Avenue (U.S. Post Office) by a white male on a bicycle who asked him for money. After the victim told him no, the suspect then brandished a small handgun from his jacket and ordered him to give him his money and other property. The victim handed his cell phone and wallet, which contained his debit card, to the suspect. The suspect then forced the victim to drive him to an ATM where the victim withdrew money and gave it to the suspect. The victim returned the suspect to the Post Office.

The suspect is described as a white male, 20-25 years of age, 160 lbs, thin build, unshaven and wearing a white tank top, baggie jeans and a jacket with a hood.

The suspect shares a likeness to the composite sketch.

Anyone with information on the identification of this individual is asked to contact the Lakeland Police Department at 863-834-6900, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, you must contact Crime Stoppers.

LPD Event #14-1011      Detective Nicole Cain