Bartow, Florida -- A convicted sexual offender with an arrest record going back 18 years now faces a homicide count in the murder of a pregnant teenager whose body was found in Davenport Monday.
A warrant charges Aurelio Martinez, 36, of St. Petersburg with second degree murder in the death of Bria Metz, 17, of St. Petersburg, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.
Her body was found in a pine tree grove off Highway 27 in Davenport Monday.
Detectives traced telephone numbers on the victim's cell phone to Martinez and arrested him Thursday afternoon on violation of probation charges in a 2003 felony child abuse, weapons and aggravated assault case out of Hollywood, Florida.
Once in custody, they questioned him out the Metz homicide.
Under questioning, Martinez said Metz wanted money from him, she told him she knew he was a sexual offender, that she was 17, and would tell the police. They argued and he grabbed her neck in his hands until she relaxed. When she stopped breathing, he panicked and got rid of the body, according to the affidavit.
Martinez has a lengthly criminal record in Florida dating back to 1991. Prior arrests include Loitering and Prowling, Burglary, Carrying a Concealed Weapon, Possession of Cocaine, Sexual Battery with Occupied Burglary and Assault, Disorderly Conduct and a Traffic Violation. He's been arrested in Broward County, Hollywood, Miami-Dade Florida, and Hialeah.
He was being held at the Pinellas County Jail Thursday night on no bond.
Polk County Sheriff's Office