TAMPA, Fla. — Update: More than 12 hours after relatives of Ariel Raul Rodriguez told 10News he was in Tallahassee, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has confirmed he has been located safely in Leon County. No further details were immediately available.
Original Story Below:
The search is on for a man deputies said had been making statements about him being God, but now there are questions about what actually happened.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says Ariel Raul Rodriguez, 33, has been missing since leaving his family's home around 9 p.m. Monday in the area of 7700 W. Pocahontas Ave. in Tampa.
Deputies say some of his statements include Rodriguez believing he's the lion the Bible talks about. Deputies say he, too, wants to heal and kill people.
But, there's a catch. Family members got ahold of a man who appears to be Rodriguez on FaceTime, and they indicated this was all a big misunderstanding and stems from a disagreement with his mom. According to relatives 10News spoke with, Rodriguez is in Tallahassee.
However, when 10News spoke with the sheriff's office, deputies didn't know about that.
"Ariel has not made contact with the sheriff's office yet, and as far as I know, no one from the family has talked to our sergeant as of yet to confirm that he is no longer missing," a spokesperson for the sheriff's office said. "I reached out to the sergeant. Once deputies investigate and send information saying the alert is canceled we can put something out, but not until then."
Earlier, deputies said Rodriguez was believed to be in a white, four-door 2016 Acura TLX with Florida tag GHEC68.
Anyone who might know of Rodriguez's whereabouts was asked to call the sheriff's office at 813-247-8200.
Editor's note: The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office corrected Rodriguez's middle name as "Raul." The story has been updated.
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