Oscar Solis Jr, 30, has been charged with murder after he allegedly butchered Randall Cooke, 59, in his Florida home on April 19 in what police described as a “gruesome case”.
Cooke’s remains were found outside Solis’ house in bin bags, which also contained a receipt with the suspect’s name on it, police said.
“This was absolutely a horrific crime of passion. This person, you know you always say the word evil, but this was demonic. This individual, what he did was demonic,” Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said in a press conference.
Cooke, an Uber Eats and DoorDash driver, had been making his final delivery of the day when he was allegedly “yanked” into Solis’ home.
“He was a guy just like everybody else just trying to make a living for his family,” Nocco said.
The Sheriff said that at around 6.43pm the “loving husband” responded to a text from his wife, telling her he would be home soon but she reported him missing when he failed to return.
The missing persons team reached out to Uber Eats who provided police with Cooke’s last known GPS coordinates, a residential street address in the town of Holiday, Pasco County.
Police visited the property the day after Cooke’s disappearance but no one answered the door and they found “nothing really suspicious”.
But when returning to the home on April 21 officers were able to speak with Solis’ roommate, who they said was not at home at the time of the murder, and he provided them with video footage from outside the property.
The video showed Cooke approaching the home at 6.55pm on April 19 with a food delivery but cuts off as he walks up to the house.
Police said the video then showed Solis and “another individual” carrying several trash bags around the side of the property the following day and officers were sent to search them.
“Unfortunately, what we found inside some of those trash bags was human remains”, Nocco said.
Solis was initially arrested for failure to register in the local county as a felon and violation of his parole but was charged with murder and robbery after Cooke’s remains were identified and the victim’s wedding ring and car keys were also found in the property.
Police believe the horrific attack was random as they struggle to find a connection between Cooke and Solis.
“We couldn’t answer the question why? What’s the relationship? There doesn’t appear to be any relationship,” Nocco said.
He added: “All that appears is that there was a gentleman who was working, was doing his last delivery of the night and this person killed him for no reason and took him away from his family.
Solis moved to Florida in January after he was released from prison in Indiana, where he served four years for an assault and burglary conviction.
The sheriff described him as a “very violent” person who is associated with MS-13, one of the world’s most brutal and dangerous street gangs.
He said he “supposedly stabbed somebody several times while he was in prison in Indiana” and had a string of previous charges against him, including battery, possession of stolen auto parts, drugs, resisting law enforcement, home detention placement and battery on detention staff.
“Unfortunately, now we have a hard-working guy, a loving husband, who’s no longer with us because this violent individual killed him,” the Sheriff added.
Officers are now appealing for the public to come forward with any information regarding two individuals who were seen leaving the property police believe Cooke was killed in shortly before the brutal murder.
“It looks like they’re young adults, they’re not in trouble. We just need to know who they are, can they come forward with information. They were actually in the house about an hour before the homicide occurred,” Nocco said.
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