A man in Florida has been arrested eight years after the murder of a man that was found in a campground in the Florida Keys.
The cold case finally came to a close when Hugh Timothy Blanton was arrested for the murder of Ronald Silvia back in 2012.
At the time of his murder, Silvia was 65 years old and was found in a burning camper at the Seahorse Campground in January 2012.
Investigators were able to determine that the fire had been started around Silvia's genital area after he was already deceased. Autopsy results reveal that the victim had been beaten and strangled to death before the fire started.
Deputies say that the neighbors reported hearing Blanton and Silvia arguing over the victim sharing a picture of Blanton's genitals before the murder.
About a month after the murder Blanton was arrested in Broward County while hitchhiking. He was interviewed by Monroe County detectives about the murder and admitted to being angry with Silvia about the shared picture but said the victim was alive when he left.
Blanton told authorities he and Silvia were in a platonic relationship and neighbors suspected they were romantically involved. He also admitted to using Silvia's cell phone after the fire was set and officers found two phones on him when he was booked into the Broward County on unrelated charges from out of Massachusetts.
Detectives believe that one of the phones did belong to Silvia but when Blanton was extradited to Massachusetts the phones were dispensed of and were unable to be recovered.
After that, the case went cold until the case was reexamined in May 2020 when detectives tested Blanton's DNA against the DNA found under Silvia's fingernails and determined it to be a match.
Blanton was already serving time in prison in Volusia County, Florida, on charges of domestic battery at the time. Blanton was interviewed by detectives and denied ever knowing Sivia or having been to the Florida Keys.
A warrant was immediately issued for Blanton's arrest and he is expected to be transferred to the Keys where he will face Arson and murder charges.
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