By Marion V. Ali
Punta Gorda police haven’t made any arrests but are following several leads into the stabbing murder of Elridgeville Village taxi driver, Antonio Rodriguez, 64, whose mutilated body was discovered around 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday on a remote feeder road in Punta Gorda.
The Reporter has confirmed with police that Rodriquez was parked at the PG taxi stand when, at around 11:00 a.m., a man requested his taxi services, got into the back seat of his van and they left.
Rodriguez’ van was spotted on the feeder road near the Joe Taylor Creek, about a quarter mile from the center of town, two hours later.
From what police have observed, Rodriquez was stabbed multiple times from behind as he sat in the driver’s seat and he apparently tried to run for his life. His body was discovered about 15 yards away from his van, with his licensed fgun beside him, in his apparent effor to flee an He normally kept his gun beside him in the van and had drawn it to defend himself.his But he collapsed before he could fire the weapon. His wallet and other valuables were still in the vehicle, so police have ruled out robbery as the motive of the killing. The murder weapon has not been recovered.
Police are investigating whether Rodriguez may have heard or seen something that endangered his life, because he was not a person with a criminal background. His family, who had travelled abroad recently, are returning home at the news of the murder.