Body in 1 Foreclosed Florida Home, Death in Another

November 19, 2010 - 4:41 PM

St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP) - A man who bought a foreclosed Florida home discovered a body in the garage, and it may be that of the former owner, authorities said Friday.

The man went to the home in Cape Canaveral on Thursday, a day after buying it, Brevard County Sheriff's Major Andrew Walters said. He found the body in a car in the garage.

Walters said it's unclear how long the body had been there, or how the person died. An autopsy was underway.

News of the gruesome find came the same day as a 71-year-old man in Gulfport, across the state, died after shooting himself in the head Monday as he was about to be evicted from his home under foreclosure.

Boyd Rubright shot himself as a sheriff's deputy tried to drill through the lock on his front door, police said.

The body in the Cape Canaveral house was believed to be that of a woman, Walters said. Investigators think it may the home's previous owner, because she hasn't been seen for a while. She went through foreclosure earlier this year.

Mortgage lender Wells Fargo sold the home Wednesday. Neighbors told authorities that the woman had "disappeared" some time ago.

In Gulfport, foreclosure proceedings against Rubright began two years ago, court records show.

Gulfport Police Sgt. Robert Burkhart said the eviction was scheduled for the weekend but was postponed for a few days, Burkhart said. On Monday, when a deputy went to the house to evict Rubright, the officer knocked and received no answer.

That's when he began drilling the lock and heard a single shot.

Burkhart, who later responded to the scene, said Rubright was discovered in a recliner with a .357-caliber revolver in his hand.

Authorities spoke with Rubright's family, who said the elderly man had lived in his home for 20-plus years.

"He had mentioned to them that they were not going to take his house from him," Burkhart said. "They, I assume, meaning the bank."