BRANDON, Fla. — The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is investigating a vehicle fire tied to a missing person's case out of New York state.
- Vehicle of man missing from NY state found burned in Brandon
- Samuel Ortiz of Rochester, NY missing since July 6
- Still no signs of Ortiz, case remains under investigation
Deputies said they found an SUV engulfed in flames at the Russellwood Condos on Russell Lane in Brandon around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. The owner of the vehicle, 39-year-old Samuel Ortiz, was reported missing on July 6 from Rochester, NY.
There is now a three-day blank spot in the life of Ortiz, whose blue Chevy Equinox was found burning in the 800 block of Russell Lane. There was no sign of Ortiz.
Also, officials are concerned that clues about Ortiz's disappearance may have been destroyed in the fire.
Authorities have not talked about any connections Ortiz may have had to anyone in the Brandon area or how his vehicle got more than 1,000 miles away from his home in New York.
Sam Ortiz is described as 5-foot-9, 170 pounds and was last seen wearing blue jeans, a T-shirt and a gold Jesus necklace.
Deputies are asking anyone with information about Ortiz to contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200.