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West Orange Times & Observer Friday, Jun. 7, 2019 1 year ago

UPDATE: Body identified as missing Winter Garden teen

An anonymous tip led law-enforcement officials to a shallow grave, where the body of 16-year-old Bruce “B.J.” Haggins Jr. was discovered.
by: Amy Quesinberry Community Editor

Louis Rivera Sr. has been arrested and charged with tampering with evidence after law-enforcement officials positively identified the body of 16-year-old Bruce “B.J.” Haggins Jr., Winter Garden Police Chief Steve Graham announced Friday, June 7, in a press conference.

Rivera participated in the disposing of the body, Graham said. He said more arrests are pending.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement cancelled the AMBER Alert after an anonymous tip led investigators to a body in a shallow grave in the Wedgefield community in east Orange County.

Haggins was abducted one week ago near Lincoln Terrace and 11th Street, in Winter Garden — about seven blocks from the home he shared with his father, Bruce Haggins Sr. Police said witnesses heard gunshots, but no evidence was found at the abduction site; police are speculating that Haggins was shot once he was in the car.

Police aren’t saying who the driver was, but they have leads. The car was located in Sanford.

“We’ve been following a lot of leads, a lot of those came from the AMBER Alert, and those leads actually led us to the discovery of the body,” Graham said.

“The cause of death is not readily available, but we can assume what it was,” he said.

The Medical Examiner’s office took the body and will inform law enforcement once the cause of death has been determined.

“We investigate all crimes, and we put all effort especially into a crime of this nature,” Graham said. “We’re not going to rest until we make sure justice is done.

“This is a rare occurrence, something of this magnitude,” he said. “You know violent crime happens in our society frequently, but Winter Garden is relatively safe.”

Amy Quesinberry is the community editor of the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She was born and raised in Winter Garden, grew up reading the community newspaper and has been employed there as a writer, photographer and editor since 1990....

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