Monica Hoffa was born in 1985. She was raised by her grandparents, her mother and her aunt and grew up with two cousins who were more like sisters.
Monica attended Gaither High School, where she graduated in 2003. She went on to study at Valencia College. She spoke English but was fluent in Spanish. She also knew sign language and had several friends who were hearing impaired.
According to her obituary, Monica loved life and had a beautiful smile that lit up the room. She was close with her family and loved her significant other, Dereck.
Family members say Monica always wanted to make sure her family members knew she loved them. She would always tell them, “You know I love you right?”
In addition to being with her family, Monica loved the beach, walking, writing poetry and drawing.
Monica Hoffa was on her way to meet a friend on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, but never showed up and was never heard from again.
That same night, police responded to reports of gunshots in the area of North 11th Street near East Orleans Avenue around 8:45 p.m.
Two days later, on Oct. 13, 2017, city workers found Monica’s body in an overgrown lot on the corner of East New Orleans Avenue and North 11th Street with three gunshot wounds. She was 32.
The following week, Tampa police said Monica’s murder was related to the murder of Benjamin Mitchell.