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'We need to know why': Tampa family questions retention pond murder

St. Pete Police arrested a man for the murder of 42-year-old Jamie Hobdy after he was found in a retention pond days after he was reported missing in December.

SAINT PETERSBURG, Fla. — A death has left a family asking why and how their loved one was murdered.

Investigators say 42-year-old Jamie Hobdy was found dead in a retention pond back in December just days after he got into a crash along I-275 North in St. Petersburg.

"I look for him every day and it is not complete," his mom, Brenda Hobdy, said. "I don't have the closure that I need right now."

Speaking exclusively to 10 Tampa Bay's Angelina Salcedo, the Hobdys say they want to know what happened to Jamie. His mom and sister noticed something was wrong in early December.

"Everybody's called and nobody got an answer, so immediately, I started thinking something that's wrong," his sister, Shoneka Hobdy, said.

The 42-year-old had just visited her the weekend before. She says he's the life of the party and always made everyone smile.  

"When he was leaving he said, 'I live my life every day like it's my last.' I said, 'Okay, I love you.' Never in a million years did I think that would be the last time that he would walk out my door," Shoneka said.

Nobody could tell Jamie's family where he was. Shoneka worked tirelessly to find answers for days.

"I started my own investigation basically," his sister said. "I started writing down names, numbers, who last seen him and where they last seen him."

One of his friends finally gave some answers saying that back on Dec. 5 Jamie met up with 28-year-old Amjad Namrouti.

"His friend said, 'I set this deal up with this Arab guy and I know your brother is good because I talked to him after that.' I said, 'You didn't speak to him after that because nobody has spoken to him. You're lying,'" Shoneka said.

After days of not hearing from her brother and asking for answers she finally got a location that brought her to on the side of I-275 North in St. Petersburg. She said when she got there and saw the retention pond, she knew her brother was in the water. 

"The detectives met me there and looked around the pond. They brought out the helicopter and didn't see anything," Shoneka said. "I told them everything I knew and they said the dive team would go out after the weekend. I said, 'My brother has been in this water for seven days. He's in this water.'"

Evidence shows a planned deal with illegal drugs had gone wrong. A UHaul truck Jamie had rented out was found crashed by the Florida Highway Patrol on Dec. 5.

"Our officers went out to look for him and what they did find was evidence of some bullet holes and some of the buildings back there, and there was a large retention pond," Yolanda Fernandez with the St. Petersburg Police Department said.

St. Pete police called out the fire department's dive team, on Dec. 12 Jamie was found in the water while his sister was there.

"I just seen him over there. I seen his shirt. I seen him sitting over there and I just lost it," Shoneka said. "I just broke down and I started screaming."

Police charged 28-year-old Amjad Namrouti with Jamie's murder saying they had an altercation before Hobdy was killed.

"Could anybody have told me that, 'Oh, your brother's dealing drugs? No. I believe in my heart that I didn't get a call that day because I'm the sister that's gonna say, 'You're not doing that,'" Shoneka said. 

Jamie's family still doesn't know how he was killed and they won't rest until they do.

Namrouti was caught in Pasco County after an arrest warrant was issued. He'll be moved to the Pinellas County jail in the next several days.

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