Update in death of Florida Fil-Am: friend believes foul play involved

by Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN News


Lake City, FL — After he went missing for one week, Fil-Am Joshua “Josh” Keith Tabares was found dead on Christmas Day, in a “lonely, out of the way place,” as described by his friends on Facebook.

In an interview with the spokesperson of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, Officer Murray Smith told BA that authorities are speculating that 34-year-old Tabares may have climbed the fence by a cellphone tower — when he lost his footing and fell.

But Tabares’ best friend, Milton Sulite, thinks his death was not accidental.

Tabares was found on Dec. 25 with head trauma, and his wallet was missing in the neighboring Suwannee County.

Sulite recounts that when Tabares went missing, officially reported on Dec. 20, Sulite went to Lake City County Line Club, which Tabares frequented.

On December 17, Tabares told his sister he was going to have drinks with a friend, before he was last seen that night.

Sulite says he spoke with an unidentified man working at the Lake City County Line Club — who seemed to know what happened, he alleges, but didn’t want to talk.

“Nung pumunta kami sa club, tapos yung lalaki, ginanyan ko yung cellphone ko. Tapos sabi nya; ‘Hindi ko kilala yan. Wala sya dito’.” Sulite said. “Tapos yung boses nya parang iba — parang may alam sya.”

He’s hoping authorities would dig deep into Tabares’ last moments alive. and he says what happened at the club — could lead them to the truth.

“Parang yung mundo ko natunaw,” the best friend said. “Christmas, they found him dead….awful. It breaks my heart. Hindi ko talaga alam na bakit ganyan yung nangyari sa kanya, kasi wala naman syang kaaway eh.”

Authorities got word that Sulite went to the club and suspects something wrong might have happened to his friend there.

“I’ll pass this information on and hope they’ll go get up there, and maybe talked to someone. We’re speculating that there’s a possibility that somebody was with him. We do believe that he climbed the tower himself but then, we do believe that someone was with him,” Officer Smith told BA in a phone interview.

Columbia County authorities are still waiting for autopsy results, as they continue to find the truth behind Tabares’ death.


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