Ochopee homicides may be tied to Miami murder case

Posted at 6:14 PM, Oct 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-21 18:14:56-04

New details are emerging in a death investigation with multiple victims near Ochopee. Miami Police say the three people found dead Thursday in a car along U.S. 41 in the far eastern part of Collier County may be connected to a homicide investigation in a Miami. A woman in her 40s was found dead with stab wounds in an apartment near Miami International Airport.

Jim Bronson, who owns property near where the car was parked just 5 miles west of the Miami-Dade County line, noticed the woman in the driver's seat hadn't moved in quite some time. 

"She was slumped over to the passenger side and there was blood on her face," Bronson said. "I could tell that her eyes were open."

A call to 911 brought Collier County deputies, who found two more bodies in the back seat - a man and a girl. All three had been shot. According to a report from the Sheriff's Office, the man was found with a gun in his hand.

"I just knew there was something wrong," Bronson said.

Traffic near the 54000 block of U.S. 41 was reduced to one lane much of Thursday while investigators processed the scene. 

Then Miami Police got a call from the Collier County Sheriff's Office to ask them to check on the welfare of a woman in an apartment on Northwest 51st Avenue, near Miami International Airport.

"The determination was made to make a forced entry into that apartment," said Lt. Freddie Cruz of the Miami Police Department. "Once our officers entered the apartment, they discovered the body of a young lady in her 40s."

"At the current moment, we are investigating it as a homicide," Cruz added. "The incident could also be linked to a murder-suicide in the Collier County area."

"The Collier County Sheriff's Office has not yet released the names of the three people found dead on U.S. 41, but say that the deaths do appear to be a murder-suicide.