VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — South Florida investigators are centering a homicide investigation in Central Florida.
Earlier this month, a Volusia County man was found dead off Florida’s Turnpike in West Palm Beach.
But West Palm Beach police said they don’t believe he was killed there.
Investigators were canvassing in Deltona at Buzzards Roosts Bar and at least two other bars. Investigators asked if people saw 56-year-old William Tempesta on Sept. 9.
One of the bartenders there told Channel 9 Tempesta was at Buzzards Roost the night before he was found dead. It’s news that she said regulars are having a hard time comprehending.
“It was hard. I was in the middle of dealing a poker game, and I had to stop the game. Players found out. Next time, we did a little memorial and saved his seat,” said Michele Fehr, a bartender and poker deal at Buzzards Roost Bar.
Fehr said Tempesta was a regular. He was known to play poker at the bar nearly daily.
“Sometimes you wanted to smack him and other times you would love the hell out of him. He was just that kind of guy,” Fehr said.
She says he was playing poker there the night before he went missing. Investigators say he stayed at a bar until the early morning hours of Saturday, Sept. 9.
Investigators believe Tempesta made it back to his home on Elkcam Boulevard and was still at this home later that Saturday afternoon. But after that, West Palm Beach police say it’s a mystery.
“What we’re trying to do is narrow that timeline down between the time we know he was at his home, the afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 9th, until 7 o’clock Sunday morning, the 10th,” said Michael Jachles, public information officer for West Palm Beach police.
That’s when Tempesta was found shot to death 180 miles from his Deltona home on a rural but highly traveled road near Florida’s Turnpike.
“Tempesta had no South Florida connections or ties. So why was he there? Was it just because his body was dropped off? Was he killed somewhere else? It was very close to Florida’s Turnpike,” Jachles said.
Investigators say they’ve learned he was working what they called “odd jobs” and he had a previous criminal history.
If you have any information about who Tempesta was or what happened to him, you’re encouraged to contact police. There’s a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.
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