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Florida man drags pedestrian with car, then hides body

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A Florida man was arrested after police say he dragged the body of a pedestrian that he struck with his car, and then left most of the body behind a bait shop.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 28-year-old Joseph Charles Strickland was driving a car when he hit the 32-year-old victim who was walking along a Hernando County road north of Tampa early Sunday morning.

Strickland did not stop his car and he just kept driving with the body on the car. Troopers say he drove the car to Dixie Lee Bait shop, where he then dumped the body behind the shop.

Officials say Strickland then called his roommates for help to push his car back to their house. He told the roommates that he had hit a deer, and then once he got home, he spray painted over the damage, investigators said.

Troopers say after spray-painting the vehicle, Strickland showered and went to sleep, Fox 13 reports.

One of the roommates ended up calling officials after he said the damage did not look like it was caused by a deer.

Shortly after the roommate called police, a report about a human leg being spotted on the side of the road came in. The leg was found near where the hit-and-run occurred the night before.

Using a cadaver dog, investigators found the rest of the body behind the bait shop and went to Strickland’s house to question him. He tried to run, but deputies from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office stopped him, the statement said.

Strickland was arrested on charges including leaving the scene of a crash involving death, tampering with evidence, and having no valid driver license or insurance. He also was arrested on a warrant from Dakota County, Minnesota, where KSTP-TV reported that the highway patrol said he rolled a car into a ditch while trying to speed away from a trooper and injured his three passengers last year.