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Lakeland Teen Charged with Second-Degree Murder After Man's Corpse Found Aflame Behind Tampa Residence


A suspect in the slaying of a Tampa man whose corpse was found in flames turned himself in to authorities last Sunday. He's now facing charges of second-degree murder for his alleged actions in connection with the case.

Sigfredo Espinel was arrested at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office upon voluntarily arriving there on Sunday. Espinel, who hails from Lakeland, will spend his eighteenth birthday in custody this Saturday, as detectives consider him the prime suspect in the untimely death of Jose Zarragoitia.

Though detectives have not revealed further details surrounding the case nor their reasoning for considering Espinel the perpetrator, what is known is that a passer-by discovered Zarragoitia's body earlier this month when he spotted smoke rising from behind a residence while he was walking his dog. The witness alerted authorities, and a deputy held at bay the flames arising from Zarragoitia's corpse until firefighters arrived shortly afterwards.

The 6'9" Espinel is being held in lieu of a $500,000 bond on one count of second-degree murder. Local media reports that he has been arrested at least three times over the past seven years, including an arrest in 2015 on suspicion of armed home invasion and committing a felony while in possession of a firearm. A disposition of the case was not given in the reports.

The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.

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