Police investigate homicide after man found dead in Palm Bay home



PALM BAY, Fla. - Palm Bay police said they are investigating a homicide after the body of a man was found inside his home on Hydrangea Road on Sunday.

Family members knew something was wrong when Delroy Patrick Downer, 44, didn't show up for a funeral in New York, police said.

Downer never made his flight to New York, and his family said they became suspicious and very worried.

"He missed his flight and when they discovered he wasn't where he was supposed to be, then nothing made any sense," said Keisha Barrant, the victim's friend.

Investigators were back at the home Monday collecting evidence and looking for clues in Downer's death.

Police went to his home to do a well-being check Sunday morning and they could not make contact with anyone.

According to officers, the doors were locked, but a family member eventually got inside, where they found Downer dead.

"When I got the phone call, I came right out and I couldn't believe it when I heard it over the phone," said Barrant. "I have known him for years. He was a brother, was a friend. We were very close."

Investigators said there are indications the death may have been drug related

"During the initial search drugs were located in the house," said Lt. Stephen Bland with Palm Bay police.

Neighbors in the area were shocked to learn about the homicide investigation.

"We never thought anything like this would happen," said neighbor Drew Stephens.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Central Florida CRIMELINE at 1-800-423-TIPS.  Callers can remain anonymous and can be eligible for the cash reward of up to $5,000 in this case.