Man killed in Immokalee is Collier's first homicide of 2012

Video from NBC-2

— The Collier County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the county’s first homicide of the year after a man was found dead Tuesday morning on the side of a dirt road in Immokalee.

The Sheriff’s Office identified the victim as Juan Flores Monroy, 24, of 321 Wells St., Immokalee. The agency has not made an arrest in the case, but said the death was being investigated as a homicide because of “traumatic injuries.”

The Collier County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the manner of death to be homicide.

When the usually punctual and dependable Flores Monroy didn’t come home from a trip to the store Monday night, then failed to show up for work early Tuesday, his house mates and employers grew worried.

His body was found around 8 a.m. Tuesday by a passing motorist at the end of Wells Street, off of Immokalee Drive, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Baldomero Arreguin, who hired Flores Monroy three years ago to work in the fields and promoted him to supervisor, said he saw the body Tuesday morning after neighbors gathered. Arreguin said he knew without a doubt it was Flores Monroy.

Homicide detectives interviewed Flores Monroy’s employer and neighbors Tuesday night.

“The clothes he was wearing were the same clothes as the night before,” Arreguin said.

Flores Monroy, a native of Veracruz, Mexico, came home from working in the fields Monday, had dinner, and headed to the store around 10 p.m. He never returned home, Arreguin said.

Flores Monroy, known to coworkers and friends as “El Botas” because he wore boots for every occasion, lived across the street from his employer in a house he shared with four other laborers, Arreguin said. He was in his mid-20s and had a wife and young child in Mexico.

“He never failed me,” Arreguin said. “He didn’t get into trouble, and no one ever complained about him.”

Flores Monroy’s body was found near a partially wooded shortcut commonly used by Wells Street residents during the day to go to a nearby store, neighbors said. At night, however, several people who live in the area said they avoid the shortcut, which is partially covered by low-hanging branches.

“That part is used by a lot of people, back there they talk and drink,” said Jose Hernandez, who lives with his family on Wells Street.

Detectives said the suspect in the killing is still at large and neighbors should remain vigilant.

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