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Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014
Crime & Courts

2 found slain in mobile home park near Armwood

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TAMPA -

A mother visiting her son's Seffner home to help him with laundry Sunday found him and his roommate dead, victims of an apparent homicide.

The bodies of Joshua Austin Deas, 23, and Kenneth V. Simmons, 34, were discovered inside Parsons Village Mobile Home Park around 5:30 p.m. Deas and Simmons were roommates at 1014 North Parsons Avenue, Lot 10, deputies said.

They had been struck or beaten violently. The cause of death will be determined by the county’s medical examiner.

“He was a good kid,” Helen LeDoux, Deas' grandmother said. “No drugs, no drinking, no nothing.”

Deas, who worked at a Walmart in Valrico, typically rode his bike seven miles to work.

“He was dedicated,” Al LeDoux, Deas' grandfather said. “He worked there seven years and never missed a day.”

Deas' mother, Karen Deas, showed up at her son's home to take him to do laundry. He never answered the door, his grandparents said.

Karen Deas told Helen LeDoux, her mother, she couldn't contact her son and LeDoux suggested she find him at work.

Deas was told he never showed up.

Karen Deas then drove the path her son took to work on his bike daily. When she didn't see any signs of him, she returned to his trailer and eventually the property manager let her into the home where she found him and his roommate dead.

“That's what happened. All hell broke loose then,” Helen LeDoux said. “She called me screaming. It's awful.”

The mobile home park is about one third of a mile east of Armwood High School, bordering Interstate 4 to the south. It is just a few feet from the shoulder of the highway’s eastbound lanes.

The sheriff’s office gained entry to the trailer at about 10 p.m. to begin its investigation. At least 10 investigators were involved. 

Joshua Deas lived at the mobile home park for about a year, Helen LeDoux said.

“It's awful,” Helen LeDoux said. “It's like I'm in a dream. You read it in the paper where it happens to somebody else, not you.”

Al LeDoux, who lives with his wife Helen in Sun City Center, said they last spoke to Joshua about three weeks ago at a family gathering.


edaniels@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7928

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