Man found dead in Cutler Bay

Victim quickly identified

By Terrell Forney - Reporter

CUTLER BAY, Fla. - A body found on a residential street in Cutler Bay has been positively identified.

Miami-Dade police said 25-year old Richard Vasallo died late Wednesday night from some sort of trauma, but homicide detectives declined to share if the man was shot, stabbed or if he died from some other means.

A passerby called 911 after seeing Vasallo bleeding and in obvious pain while in the street. Paramedics arrived and ultimately pronounced the man dead.

Vasallo was a teacher who taught engineering classes at a nearby technical school. The Florida International University graduate did not have a criminal past, according to court records, and had no enemies, his family told Local 10's Terrell Forney.

"He left the house at about 10:40 last night claiming that he was going to put gasoline in his vehicle so he wouldn't have to do it in the morning to go to school," said an uncle who declined to give his name.

Vasallo's body was found just before 11 p.m. the same night.

"We're all devastated, and it really hurts," said the uncle.

Vasallo's black Chevy Camaro was parked in a lot near the residential street where he collapsed and died at Southwest 216th Street and Southwest 98th Court. Vasallo, who lived with his mother about four blocks away, purchased the car about three months ago, relatives said.

Detectives spent most of the day scouring the area for clues and even climbing into a nearby Dumpster in their search.

By Thursday afternoon, a pair of Miami-Dade police divers were seen going into a pond on the edge of the residential community where the killing happened.

No vehicle description or suspect information was given by detectives, who urged the public to come forward if they have knowledge about the case.

Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers, 305-471-TIPS (8477), is an option where callers can remain anonymous.

Vasallo was described by loved ones as being very book-smart and passionate about a career in engineering.

"He was into studying. He was always studying, trying to better himself," said his uncle.

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