SPRING HILL, Fla. — A Weeki Wachee man was arrested at his home Sunday after his roommate contacted investigators over discrepancies in a story he'd been told about a car crash earlier in the morning.

What You Need To Know

  •  A 32-year-old Spring Hill man was killed in a hit-and-run crash early Sunday, FHP says

  •  Investigators say the man had been walking along Cortez Boulevard when he was hit

  • Joseph Charles Strickland, 28, has been charged in connection with the victim's death

Joseph Charles Strickland, 28, was driving a 1995 red Mazda MX-6 just after midnight Sunday when he allegedly hit a pedestrian in the area of Cortez Boulevard and Evanston Street in Spring Hill, a Florida Highway Patrol statement said.

The car came to rest behind a bait shop on Evanston Street where Strickland is accused of removing the victim's remains from it before calling friends and a roommate to help him push the now-disabled vehicle back to his residence, investigators said. 

The victim of the crash was identified as a 32-year-old Spring Hill resident.

The roommate, who was not named by FHP, later told troopers that Strickland had claimed the damage to his car was from hitting a deer.

Once back at his home, Strickland allegedly spray painted the damaged area of his car, showered and went to bed, investigators said.

Later in the morning, the roommate contacted law enforcement after taking a closer look at the damaged Mazda and coming to the conclusion that "the damage was not from an impact with a deer," the FHP statement said.

The roommate's call coincided with the discovery of part of the pedestrian's remains on the shoulder of Cortez Boulevard west of U.S. 19, troopers said.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office dispatched a cadaver dog to search the area and the unnamed victim's remains were later found behind the bait shop on Evanston Street.

When troopers confronted Strickland at his home, he reportedly tried to flee through the back of the residence, but was stopped by waiting deputies, the FHP statement said.

Strickland — who was already wanted in Minnesota on a charge of bodily harm gross negligence felony criminal vehicle operation — was arrested at the scene.

Strickland was charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving death, tampering with evidence, no valid driver license involving a death, and driving without insurance.



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