Victim found dead behind church after robbery, armed carjacking at Valrico bank

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The search for an armed carjacking victim in Valrico came to a tragic end on Tuesday.

Deputies with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office say 68-year-old Mathew Korattiyil was found dead behind a church Tuesday afternoon. According to detectives, Korattiyil had been the victim of a carjacking that was connected to a bank robbery earlier in the day.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office responded to the bank robbery at CenterState Bank on State Road 60 around 10:30 a.m. The sheriff’s office says the suspect held Korattiyil at gunpoint, then stole his Lexus SUV before leading deputies on a chase through Valrico. Deputies say Korattiyil was inside of the vehicle when the chase began.

After a brief pursuit, the suspect crashed and flipped the SUV near the intersection of South St. Cloud Avenue and Highway 60. The suspect was arrested and is being interviewed by deputies, but Korattiyil was not found.

The sheriff’s office immediately launched a massive search involving nearly 100 deputies, along with help from the FBI.

“I’m extremely disappointed to have to tell you we have located Mathew and, unfortunately, he did not survive,” Chief Deputy Donna Lusczynski said.

Lusczynski says his body was found at the Sacred Heart Catholic Center on Washington Road in Valrico. Detectives at this point are not releasing his cause of death, pending a medical examiner’s investigation.

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