Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd announced today details of a homicide that occurred January 14, 2011. The victim of the murder, 36-year-old Curtis Patrick Chancey, DOB 12-26-74, last known address 6428 Farris Drive, Lakeland, was shot and stabbed multiple times by 35-year-old Mike Hinson (DOB 04-18-75), 2777 Cozart Road, Mulberry, during an argument that occurred on the Bulger Nursery property near Mulberry. Chancey often visited and hung out at the Nursery because of his friendship with Mike Bulger, Jr., the manager of the business. According to detectives, Hinson dumped Chancey's body in a water pit north of the Nursery.
Curtis Chancey was reported missing by his brother on Wednesday, January 26, 2011. He was last seen at Bulger's Nursery, 2771 Cozart Road, Mulberry, at approximately 5:00 pm on Friday, January 14, 2011. Family members had advised PCSO detectives that Chancey routinely contacted his teenage son but had not had any contact with any family member since January 14th.
Chancy was last heard from by his girlfriend (29-year-old Christina Oldaker of Mulberry) at about 5:50 p.m. when he had called her to ask for a ride. He asked her to pick him up at the nursery. When she arrived, she waited for him and he did not show up. Hinson showed up at the front gate and told Oldaker he had not seen Chancey—they then looked for Chancey together around the approximate 150 acre nursery property.
Detectives extensively searched the Bulger Nursery property on January 28th, 29th and 30th for Chancey's body and did not locate anything. On February 11th, detectives became aware of tips and rumors that Chancey had been murdered and thrown into water. Detectives again searched the Bulger Nursery property on February 12 and 13th using 9 law enforcement dog handlers and 13 cadaver dogs—no body was found. Detectives expanded their search on Wednesday, February 16, to surrounding property. Detectives found Chancey's body in a state of advanced decomposition in a water pit north of the Bulger Nursery property.
An autopsy was conducted on February 17. It was discovered that Chancey's body was shot at least 25 times and he was stabbed at least 13 times.
Mike Hinson was arrested by PCSO deputies on January 20th at about 1:15 p.m. for DUI and carrying a concealed firearm on County Road 555 near County Road 640. He was booked into the Polk County Jail and bonded out on January 22, 2011. He was arrested again on January 29th at approximately 7:30 p.m. when he was caught trespassing on private property on the south side of County Road 640 near 80 Ft. Road. He was charged with two counts of Armed Trespass (he had a firearm with him when he was found and he had trespassed on two separate properties) and Resisting Arrest Without Violence. Hinson was taken into custody and has been in the Polk County Jail since. Hinson has not yet been formally charged with the murder. PCSO detectives are working with the State Attorney's Office to finalize murder charges.
Curtis Patrick Chauncey - victim Mike Hinson - suspect