67 F
The Villages
Sunday, April 18, 2021

Sumter sheriff’s detectives launch homicide probe after body of Winter Garden man found in Royal

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a homicide investigation in the Royal area of Wildwood.

The sheriff’s office received a call Saturday at about 7:36 a.m. about a body in the yard of a home in the 9900 block of County Road 231. Upon arrival, deputies discovered the body of 61-year-old Michael Majed Kotait, of Winter Garden. The cause of Kotait’s death hasn’t been confirmed by the Medical Examiner, but he is the apparent victim of homicidal violence, a sheriff’s office report states.

Detectives are working to identify anyone Kotait associated with in the area so they can establish a motive for his murder. It is unclear why Kotait was in the area, the report says.

Just prior to receiving the report of Kotait’s body being discovered, Wildwood Police officers were notified of a vehicle submerged in the water at the Lake Deaton Boat Ramp at 5300 County Road 155. The unoccupied white Honda SUV was registered to Kotait and the Wildwood Police Department turned its portion of the investigation over to the sheriff’s office.

Detectives will be following up leads and conducting interviews with associates and potential witnesses, as the case is ongoing. Anyone with information about the homicide or Kotait is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at (352) 793-2621. To make an anonymous tip, contact Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).

Restaurants in The Villages desperate due to staffing shortages

Restaurants in The Villages and across Florida are trimming their hours and offering drive-through only as they face an historic labor shortage.

Villagers’ daughter to appear on Food Network with Martha Stewart

A mother and father in The Villages are filled with pride as their daughter has been selected to appear with Martha Stewart on a Food Network cooking competition show. Villages-News.com's David Towns has the story.

Trendy coffee shop coming to Magnolia Plaza in The Villages

Foxtail Coffee Co. has reportedly signed a lease for a location at Magnolia Plaza at The Villages.

Restaurants in The Villages desperate due to staffing shortages

Restaurants in The Villages and across Florida are trimming their hours and offering drive-through only as they face an historic labor shortage.

Villagers’ daughter to appear on Food Network with Martha Stewart

A mother and father in The Villages are filled with pride as their daughter has been selected to appear with Martha Stewart on a Food Network cooking competition show. Villages-News.com's David Towns has the story.

Trendy coffee shop coming to Magnolia Plaza in The Villages

Foxtail Coffee Co. has reportedly signed a lease for a location at Magnolia Plaza at The Villages.

Ohio teen apprehended after chase on I-75 through Sumter and Marion counties

An Ohio teenager was apprehended after leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase Friday afternoon on Interstate 75 through Sumter and Marion counties.

3 more local residents die of COVID-19 as Florida reports 74 more fatalities

Florida added more than 6,300 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday as 74 more people succumbed to the virus across the Sunshine State.

Villager takes wild ancestry journey to find his father and half-siblings

It took more than 70 years for Villager Larry Moran to find out who his father was and learn that he had half-siblings. He met those siblings last week for the first time in a “family reunion.”

Lake Deaton debacle

A Village of Virginia Trace resident, in a Letter to the Editor, contends that Village of Lake Deaton residents should have known more than they claim they knew about actions of a fraudulent contractor.

Too many apartments springing up in The Villages

A man who describes himself as a “future homeowner” in The Villages contends there are too many apartment buildings going up in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown. Read his Letter to the Editor.

Little pity for Villagers scammed by contractor

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of La Belle resident says he has little pity for the Villagers who claim they were scammed by a contractor who cut down trees in a protected wetland near their homes.