Polk County deputies seeking suspect in ‘violent’ murder of elderly Polk City woman

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd briefed the media Friday on what he called the “violent” murder of a local woman and the search for the suspected killer.

Judd provided a detailed timeline that started Wednesday when 74-year-old Perfecta Paz was reported missing by her sister, with whom she lived.

>>> STREAM CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS LIVE <<<

READ: Newly released documents shed light on Miya Marcano disappearance

According to the sister, she last saw Perfecta as she was leaving the home for work early Tuesday morning.

The sister told deputies that when she returned Tuesday afternoon, Perfecta was gone.

The only other resident of the home, 39-year-old Aroldo Paz, told the sister Perfecta had simply left on her own.

According to Judd, Perfecta Paz was Aroldo’s aunt, but raised him as her own son from the time he was an infant after her sister, his birth mother, died.

Judd added that Perfecta and her sister were both legal immigrants from Honduras while Aroldo had been in the United States illegally since 2003.

READ: Divers find SUV of missing Ohio mom, 2 children on river bottom after nearly 20 years

Deputies say when the sister returned home from work Wednesday, Aroldo was also gone with his car and belongings. The sister continued trying to contact Perfecta then reported her missing.

Judd says the search for Perfecta continued into Thursday when a deputy checking along a fence line of the property on Deen Still Road noticed a soft area of grass where they ultimately found Perfecta buried.

“At this particular location, they had chickens, they had hogs...it was a nice little, if you will, small farm,” Judd explained. “It was a beautiful area, out in the middle of God’s Country, and he ruined the tranquility of that place forever when he murdered Perfecta and buried her in a shallow grave.”

According to the sheriff, there were obvious signs of trauma to the body.

“She died a violent death...a violent death,” Judd said.

Detectives say they believe Aroldo Paz murdered Perfecta sometime after her sister went to work Tuesday.

Investigators say they know how Perfecta was killed, but aren’t releasing that information at this point.

READ: After more than a year, family of murdered Apopka teen still seeking justice

“Aroldo violently murdered the lady that adopted him so many years before, and buried her in a shallow grave,” Judd said.

Detectives have secured warrants for Paz on charges of first-degree murder, tampering with evidence, and grand theft because of some of Perfecta’s cash that was also taken from the home.

Paz is still at-large. Deputies believe he could be driving a 1999 beige Toyota Camry with a Texas license plate of PTC-9735.

Judd says they have evidence the vehicle may have been spotted recently in the Houston area. Deputies say he may be headed to the area because he has a history there.

“We need to find him,” Judd said. “He’s just a nasty man and he needs to be arrested quickly.”

READ: Parkland school mass shooter Nikolas Cruz to plead guilty, lawyers confirm

Anyone with information on where to find Aroldo Paz is asked to contact Heartland Crime Stoppers either by phone at 1-800-226-8477, or on their website.

Callers can remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.