Cops: Homeless man admits to the brutal murder of Wilkin Baker in Brandon

9:42 PM, May 16, 2013   |    comments
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Brandon, Florida-- What began as a "suspicious death" investigation Tuesday morning has since become a homicide investigation with brutal details. 

Hillsborough County Sheriff's officials alerted the public of the incident Tuesday after a landscaping worker discovered a dead man's body outside a storage facility off the 700 block of Providence Rd. 

Later reports Tuesday evening said the victim suffered from severe upper body trauma, but Thursday night's update has the most information of them all. 

According to the report, the victim has been identified as 27-year-old Wilkin Mieses Baker, and the man suspected of taking his life has been identified as 18-year-old Washington Beltran.

Investigators say Baker and Beltran met for the first time on the night of Monday, May 13, when they were both at a fast food restaurant not far from the storage unit. 

After meeting, the two reportedly made a plan to purchase and smoke marijuana together.

Surveillance footage from a nearby convenience store shows Baker and Beltran inside the store shortly before 11 p.m. Baker was reportedly intoxicated at the time, and was still in possession of $100 and the gold chain he was wearing- both of which would later be taken from him.

After leaving the store, investigators believe the two walked to the storage facility off Providence Road, and that's when the attack began. 

As stated in the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office report, the attack began with Beltran punching Baker in the face at least once, but soon became much more severe.

Beltran reportedly used a knife during his attack- leaving a total of 35 stab wounds and a cut across Baker's throat. 

Officials say when Baker's body was recovered the next day, the gold chain seen in the convenience store surveillance and his $100 were both missing. 

Through their investigation, detectives say they found Beltran's bloody clothes that he disposed of, along with the knife he used to commit the brutal murder. They also found a backpack that belonged to Baker, but they say his gold chain is still missing.

As the investigation continued, officials received word that Beltran was at a nearby apartment complex, and that's where they say they made the arrest. He was not in an apartment, as officials believe Beltran is actually homeless, but they found him standing in a stairwell with Baker's bike nearby.

Washington Beltran already had a warrant out for his arrest for violating felony probation, but deputies say he's since been booked at the Hillsborough County Jail on first degree murder and armed robbery charges without bond.

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