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Sunday, May 20, 2018
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Tampa man arrested in January slaying of Gibsonton woman

A Tampa man was arrested early this morning in connection with the January slaying of a woman in Riverview.

Jose Enrique Gonzalez, 48, is being held at the Hillsborough County Jail on charges of first-degree murder and sexual battery in the death of 21-year-old Meaghan E. Casady, of Gibsonton.

On Jan. 18 around 7:20 a.m., a sanitation truck driver discovered Casady’s body behind the Summerfield Shopping Plaza, 11323 Big Bend Road.

After an investigation, deputies determined Gonzalez met Casady in the parking lot at CJ’s Saloon in Riverview, and both left in Gonzalez’s 2011 Kia Forte.

According to the arrest affadavit, a deputy spotted Gonzalez outside his car, leaning over the passenger side door. The deputy noticed a slight scratch on Gonzalez’s nose, and he was talking to Casady, who appeared intoxicated.

Casady told the deputy she was OK, and he suggested Gonzalez take her home as soon as possible, the affadavit said.

Surveillance video from a business near where Casady’s body was discovered showed a vehicle, matching Gonzalez’s Kia Forte, driving away from that location, the affadavit said.

Gonzalez told investigators he received scratches while trying to stop a bar fight, and that he dropped Casady off near the intersection of Rhodine Road and Balm Riverview Road because she was “going crazy” and demanded to be let out, the affadavit said.

Additional surveillance video showed a vehicle identical to Gonzalez’s arriving at Poole’s Towing, where he was employed, 15 minutes from the location where Casady’s body was discovered. Deputies say that time was consistent with the distance between the two locations, the affadavit said.

A forensic search of Gonzalez’s car yielded hair with dried blood, and blood within the car, the autopsy said.

Gonzalez is being held without bond.

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