Man accused of killing aunt hangs himself in jail, deputies say

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — A Polk County man accused of stabbing his aunt to death and stabbing his father was found hanging in his jail cell Sunday evening, Polk County deputies said.

Pedro Vega Jr. was arrested last week in Osceola County and transferred to the Polk County Jail Saturday.

Investigators said a detention deputy last saw Vega Jr. alive Sunday at 5:57 p.m., but when they checked on him at 6:09 p.m., he was slouched against a wall of the cell with a sheet around his neck.

Vega Jr. was declared dead at Florida Hospital in Sebring, deputies said.

Deputies said per agency policy, as well as state and national standards, inmates are checked every 15 minutes.

Investigators also found two plastic spoons with sharpened ends which were used to cut the bed sheet, as well as a noose in a pillowcase, deputies said.

"Pedro Vega had a history of escape and escape attempts. In fact he tried to escape custody when he was in the hospital last week. He appears to not to have wanted to spend the rest of his life in prison for his many heinous crimes, including murder. He was a very violent man, on a mission to escape, and ultimately, he did,” said Polk County Sheriff’s Grady Judd.

Vega Jr. was arrested last Wednesday after deputies said he stabbed his aunt, Rosa Vega, 14 times; she died of her injuries, deputies said. He’s also accused of stabbing his father, Pedro Vega Sr. at least 20 times at a home on Davenport Boulevard, deputies said.

Vega Jr. also broke into a nearby home and was shot in the hand by the resident, deputies said.

Vega Jr. stole his father’s truck and was arrested in Osceola County.

He was taken to the hospital to be treated for his gunshot wound and tried to escape, deputies said.

An investigation into Vega Jr.’s death has been launched, deputies said.

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