Marion County Sheriff's deputies are investigating a homicide at a ranch in Ocklawaha. They say it happened on Wednesday, between the hours of 10:45 a.m. an 2:30 p.m.
On a quiet ranch in Ocklawaha, yellow crime scene tape stretches around acres of property. Marion County investigators say 74-year-old Stanley Yassen was murdered inside his home.
Investigators won't tell us how Yassen died, but they say it was a violent death.
"Stan was a loaner," said neighbor Jim Jones. "Straight forward, to the point."
Jones said Yassen lived in the area for many years with his two sons and often traveled for business.
"From what he said, he had quite a few horses up north that he raced, and he would go up north for two to three weeks at a time and come back. He told me that occasionally the jockeys would come down here and stay a week or two."
Neighbor Karen Ross said she used to see horses on Yassen's ranch.
"He had two horses, but they've been gone for two to three months now."
Investigators say blood may have gotten on the killer's clothes during the attack on Wednesday and they're hoping someone may have seen something.
"Scary seeing the helicopter going around in circles," said neighbor Karen Ross. "I have a 6-year-old son, and it's scary."
Why the Yassen was brutally murdered in this rural area of Marion County remains a mystery.
"I'm just shocked that something like this happened so close," Jones said.
A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest. Call Crimestoppers at 352-368-STOP or the case agent, Detective T.J. Watts at 352-732-9111.