June 19, 2024

Citrus Times

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Pasco County homicide suspect found hiding in trunk during Citrus traffic stop

2 min read

TAYLOR JACE CONTINO (Pasco County booking photo)

Citrus County deputies on Friday got a surprise when they opened the trunk of a car during a traffic stop.

Hiding in the trunk was a suspect wanted in connection with a Pasco County homicide.

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) stopped the car at about 3 p.m. after receiving a call from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) about the suspect that was headed into Citrus County on U.S. 19.

The CCSO said on Friday that Pasco County officials reported that a vehicle traveling from Levy County, heading southbound on U.S. 19, was believed to have a wanted homicide suspect inside, and the CCSO took action. Citrus deputies staged near the possible route of travel for the suspect vehicle.

Once the suspect vehicle entered Citrus County, a CCSO Tactical Impact Unite (TIU) detective identified the vehicle and relayed the vehicle’s location to dispatch in an effort to get additional units for backup. CCSO’s aviation unit tracked the suspect vehicle as it traveled southbound on U.S. 19.

As the suspect vehicle made its way into Homosassa, just north of the McDonald’s at 3740 S Suncoast Boulevard, patrol units devised a plan to intercept the vehicle. After entering heavy traffic along the area of construction on U.S. 19, patrol units conducted a traffic stop on the suspect vehicle.

Deputies made contact with the visible occupants inside of the vehicle. The juvenile female driver and the juvenile female passenger were advised of the reason for the traffic stop. After permission was granted to search the vehicle, deputies located the wanted homicide suspect hiding in the trunk of the vehicle.

“If you think you can elude authorities by coming into Citrus County, you are sadly mistaken. Our deputies work seamlessly with our counter parts from other counties,” said Sheriff Prendergast. “What happened today was a perfect example of teamwork with our Sheriff’s Office and the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. From the moment we were notified of this homicide suspect entering our county, to the final moment of our deputies placing this individual under arrest, public safety was our priority.”

The suspect, 20-year-old Taylor Jace Contino of Hudson, was arrested for his warrant on the original charge of homicide and booked into Citrus County jail at 4:08 p.m.

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