Avila murder-suicide leak sparks investigation of Hillsborough F - WFLA News Channel 8

Avila murder-suicide leak sparks investigation of Hillsborough Fire Rescue

Posted: Updated:
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -
Hillsborough County Fire Rescue confirms it is investigating itself over information leaks in the Avila mansion murder-suicide.

Fire Rescue, as well as the Sheriff's Office, wants to know how detailed information about the gruesome murder scene in Avila where the Campbell family was discovered, got onto the web before investigators got into the house.

As the fire in Avila burned, so did detectives' frustration.

8 On Your Side has learned that hours before they were allowed inside the Avila mansion, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office detectives read on the New York Post's web page and other internet sites about bodies, bullet holes, and gas cans. Detectives feared the release of such pertinent information might prove disastrous to their crime solving efforts.

"We didn't even know what crime we had, other than there were three bodies inside," Chief Deputy Jose Docobo said.

According to Docobo, social media reporter Meredyth Censullo filled Twitter with plenty of detail.

By 9:58 a.m. she tweeted, "3 dead, 4th suspected. Reportedly gunshots to head."

Two minutes later she tweeted, "...bodies found in burning mansion in Avila had heavy duty fireworks wrapped around their heads."

"The types of details that were being released are extremely pertinent to conducting a homicide investigation," Docobo stated.

Detectives were not allowed into the building until 3 o'clock that afternoon.

At 10:17 in the morning Censullo tweeted "...mortars were exploding."

At 10:23 a.m., "Dead in #Avila fire at home owned by James Blake include a man, woman in bed, teen."

At 11:22 a.m., "#Avila: Source-several gas cans found on second floor of home where bodies found this morning."

"Many, if not all, of the details that were released were in fact accurate," Docobo observed.

Information that can give a bad guy a heads-up. The question is how did that information get out before detectives had a chance to go in?

"It comes from individuals who have access to it. It's people at the scene, who have direct access, visual access," Docobo said.

Docobo informed Fire Rescue personnel at the scene that releasing crime scene information may make it more difficult if not impossible to find a killer.

"If you're out there irresponsibly and interfering with an active criminal investigation there might very well be appropriate charges," he said.

According to district chief Frank Fernandez, HCFR is conducting an internal investigation.

"There were a number of folks that were out there. There were Fire Rescue personnel. There were law enforcement and there were civilians that were extremely close to the actual incident scene that could have overheard anything, not to mention all of our radios, if anything was said over the radios," Fernandez said.

Fernandez states he isn't sure who provided crime scene information, but he is sure that it is a serious breach.

"My office is conducting the investigation and will be looking to the sheriff's department for some assistance as well," Fernandez said.

When the investigation is complete, Fernandez promises HCFR will make public its findings.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.


  • Don't Miss ItMore>>

  • VIDEO: Intense gator battle at Odessa golf course

    VIDEO: Intense gator battle at Odessa golf course

    Thursday, July 24 2014 1:44 PM EDT2014-07-24 17:44:33 GMT
    An amazing video of two big gators locked in an intense fight might have you wondering how something so dangerous could happen at a golf course. A golfer shot the video using a cell phone
    An amazing video of two big gators locked in an intense fight might have you wondering how something so dangerous could happen at a golf course. A golfer shot the video using a cell phone
  • Road rage karma: Florida man run over by own truck

    Road rage karma: Florida man run over by own truck

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:50 AM EDT2014-07-24 14:50:09 GMT
     Caption: Joseph Carl, 48. Alachua Co. Jail booking photo Caption: Joseph Carl, 48. Alachua Co. Jail booking photo
    A man in Florida apparently got a dose of road rage karma when police say he was run over by his own pickup truck after getting out to bang on another driver's window.
    A man in Florida apparently got a dose of road rage karma when police say he was run over by his own pickup truck after getting out to bang on another driver's window.
  • Watch the full "Fifty Shades of Grey" trailer: What we couldn’t show on TV

    Watch the full "Fifty Shades of Grey" trailer: What we couldn’t show on TV

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:43 AM EDT2014-07-24 14:43:17 GMT
    "Fifty Shades of Grey" fans, you've come to the right place. You saw part of the exclusive too-hot-for-morning-TV trailer on TODAY, but here's the full trailer for you to watch now.
    "Fifty Shades of Grey" fans, you've come to the right place. You saw part of the exclusive too-hot-for-morning-TV trailer on TODAY, but here's the full trailer for you to watch now.
  • Most Viewed Stories on WFLA.com

  • Web Poll

  • What should happen to police or fire personnel who leak investigation details?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    They should be fired
    29%
    86 votes
    They should be reprimanded
    27%
    81 votes
    Charges should be filed against them
    24%
    71 votes
    Nothing
    20%
    58 votes
  • Avila murder-suicide leak sparks investigation of Hillsborough Fire RescueMore>>

  • Sidebar: Avila Mansion Murder-Suicide

    Tuesday, July 1 2014 1:47 PM EDT2014-07-01 17:47:05 GMT
    AVILA MURDER MANSION - RELATED CONTENTMay 8, 2014: Resident of ignited Avila home recently purchased fireworksMay 8, 2014: Fla detectives not looking for suspects in Avila fatal fireMay 7, 2014: 911 calls from Avila mansion fireMay 7, 2014: 4 dead in burned Avila mansion, accerlant found in home
    AVILA MURDER MANSION - RELATED CONTENTMay 8, 2014: Resident of ignited Avila home recently purchased fireworksMay 8, 2014: Fla detectives not looking for suspects in Avila fatal fireMay 7, 2014: 911 calls from Avila mansion fireMay 7, 2014: 4 dead in burned Avila mansion, accerlant found in home
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.