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20-year had been last seen early Sunday morning

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Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 05:26 PM
SEBRING -

Authorities say they have found the body of 20-year-old Aaron Doty, who was reported missing after allegedly being involved in a physical altercation at a party in Sun 'n Lake of Sebring early Sunday.

Based on information received by investigators, arrest warrants on charges of second-degree murder, abuse of a dead human body and tampering with physical evidence were issued for Jonathan Ray Rodriguez, 22, and Kenneth Felipe, 19, both of 5504 Granada Blvd., Sebring, in connection with Doty's death.

No arrests had been made as of Highlands Today's press deadline Monday.

The body, which had been burned, was discovered Monday afternoon in an uninhabited part of Sun 'n Lake, in the northwest section of the community, said Highlands County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Nell Hays.

Hays said the cause of death had not been established later Monday and the investigation was continuing.

Word on how Doty died is pending an autopsy by the District 10 Medical Examiner's Office, Hays added.

Chief Deputy Mark Schrader said in a news release that foul play had been suspected in Doty's disappearance.

He was last seen at the party at 5504 Granada Blvd. — which is the address listed for the wanted men — in Sun 'n Lake of Sebring at approximately 4:30 a.m. Sunday.

At noon Monday, authorities had set up a mobile command unit at the end of Granada Boulevard, toward the Sun 'n Lake preserve.

The duplex where the party took place was cordoned off with crime scene tape. A long line of cars was parked on the street as family and friends anxiously waited for word before authorities informed them the search was over a little after 2 p.m. Monday.

Earlier in the morning, Highlands County Sheriff's Office authorities did air surveillance over the neighborhood.

Deputies and police dogs searched the area on four-wheelers.

According to Schrader, "The investigation is ongoing as detectives are continuing to locate and interview all persons that were at the party on Granada Boulevard and all other leads in this crime."

Anyone with information is requested to call the Highlands County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Unit at (863) 402-7250.

Anyone who wants to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Heartland Crime Stoppers at (800) 226-TIPS (8477), or to go to www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com or toscan the QR code on this newspaper page.

Anonymity is guaranteed.

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