Pinellas Mosquito Control Technician Found Dead in Park
His cause of death is unknown but does not appear to be suspicious, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
PINELLAS COUNTY – A long-time Pinellas County Mosquito Control employee who was on duty at Taylor Park in Largo was found dead Monday (Nov. 27) morning in a remote section of the park.
Rafael Ufret-Ortiz, 63, had been employed by the county for almost 15 years. Mr. Ortiz was found shortly before noon along the easement of McKay Creek which is just north of 134th Avenue N between Adams Circle and 121st Street in unincorporated Largo. His cause of death is unknown at this time, but does not appear to be suspicious, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.
“Rafael was an exemplary person and an outstanding employee. The Pinellas County family is mourning today,” said Rahim Harji, director of Pinellas County Public Works.
Mr. Ortiz was a senior spray technician who had been employed by Pinellas County government since July 2002,. He was conducting tests on the water for mosquito control along McKay Creek. Mr. Ortiz was last seen heading to his assigned area at about 7:30 a.m.
At about 11:44 a.m., a citizen notified a park ranger that a county truck appeared stuck on the easement and that the front driver door was left open. The park ranger and another employee drove to where the citizen reported to have seen the truck and discovered Mr. Ortiz face down in the creek.
Photo courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Pinellas Sheriff | Rafael Ufret-Ortiz | Deaths | Pinellas County | Taylor Park | Tampabay News
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