Tampa Police Arrest Suspect in September Homicide

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ARREST DATE:    October 19, 2018


SUSPECT:            Melissa McNutt, DOB: 11/19/1992


INCIDENT DATE/TIME:   September 30, 2018 at approx 4:26 a.m.


LOCATION:         600 Block of South Willow Avenue


VICTIM:                Justin Vancleff Heilig, DOB: 12/05/83, from Salisbury, North Carolina




A woman with connections to the brutal murder of a man who was found in a Hyde Park neighborhood is now behind bars.  Tampa Police detectives arrested Melissa McNutt, 25, on October 18 and charged her with the armed robbery and first degree murder of Justin Heilig. 


Officers responded to the 600 block of South Willow Avenue on September 30 shortly before 4:30 a.m. when they received a call regarding a man who was bleeding and lying on a front porch.  Heilig suffered gunshot and stab wounds.  He was transported to a local hospital where he died. 


Tampa Homicide detectives located a bloody knife and a Pandora bracelet near the crime scene at East Swann Street and South Willow Avenue.  During the investigation, they received information that Heilig was with McNutt on the night he was murdered.  The two came in contact with each other that night in Ybor City. Heilig was spotted getting in the passenger seat of McMutt’s 2015 Black Nissan Altima.  The vehicle matched the description of a dark-colored sedan that was seen on surveillance footage leaving the area after neighbors heard gunshots near South Willow Avenue.  DNA found on the Pandora bracelet also placed McNutt at the scene of the murder. 


The investigation into Heilig’s death is still ongoing.


Anyone with information is asked to provide Crime Stoppers with anonymous tips in order to be eligible for a cash reward of up to $3,000.


Janelle McGregor

Tampa PD Spokesperson