ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The body of a 41-year-old woman was discovered Friday at a home in the Pine Hills neighborhood, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.
Deputies were called shortly before noon to a home on Pipes O the Glen Way near Indian Hill and North Pine Hills roads after a passerby spotted a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old wandering alone, Sheriff's Office spokesman Jeff Williamson said.
The children led the woman to the home where she discovered the body of Denise Hayes near the front door, Williamson said.
Investigators said the home was empty and had no electricity or running water.
Deputies said Hayes' boyfriend, 52-year-old Bobby Lee Story, has been identified as a suspect in her death. They said the couple had a history of domestic violence.
It's unknown how Hayes died, but detectives said her death is being investigated as a homicide.
The toddlers, who are Hayes' grandchildren, were uninjured, Williamson said. The Florida Department of Children and Families placed the children in the custody of relatives, he said.
Tia Smith, Hayes' cousin, said she wants Story to surrender.
"We just need justice for Denise. She didn't deserve this -- no parent does, no one does," she said. "It's devastating. The kids themselves -- the smaller kids -- are very traumatized by the incident that took place."
Hayes' relatives said a vigil will be held at the home at 7 p.m. Thursday. A car wash will be held Saturday at a nearby Citgo gas station to raise funds for burial expenses.
The death remains under investigation.
No other details were given.
Anyone with information about Story's whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff's Office or Crimeline at 407-423-8477, but deputies said he should not be approached because he could be armed.
A $5,000 reward has been offered for information that leads to his arrest.
Family and friends of Denise Hayes, the woman found dead in a Pine Hills home yesterday, just finished gathering outside the house for a vigil. They’ve left blue and white balloons and signs. pic.twitter.com/BtseepaQ9n— Deanna Allbrittin (@deannaTVnews) August 25, 2018
Jeff Williamson, @OrangeCoSheriff spokesperson is about to give an update on the death investigation where woman’s body was found after toddlers were seen roaming the street. pic.twitter.com/doN37Mz7Gl— Deanna Allbrittin (@deannaTVnews) August 24, 2018
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