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Hit & run victim had been carjacked

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Posted at 12:07 PM, Apr 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-09 09:26:43-04

UPDATED STORY:

Ken Jiggins says Robert Brubaker's death Tuesday night was sad - but not surprising.

He's been taking extra precautions for a while now, as he says violence is not new on his block.

Jiggins says he's been victimized three times.

"A break in and two attempted break-ins," he says.

What happened to his neighbor few doors down adding to that toll.

Investigators say  Brubaker was making his way home after a long day of work, but he never made it through his fence.

"We believe Mr. Brubaker was carjacked, and during that carjacking he was struck and killed by his own vehicle," says Detective Jeremy Gelfand with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators say Brubaker was blind in one eye and survived a brain tumor, but it didn't stop him from working 3 jobs.

Now detectives are hoping the car he used to make it to those jobs can help them find his killer.

The 2008 Mercury Milan he was driving has extensive damage.

"It traveled over 35 miles," Gelfand says. "And if you take one look at the front of the car...pretty extensive damage to the front winshield. So I'm hoping someone has seen that car between here and Broward County."

Ken says the situation provides another reminder to always be watchful - even while in the comfort of your own home.

He never leaves his house without barring up his doors, especially now.

"Don't feel at ease just because you're on your own property, that might be your demise."

If you saw the car, or the person driving it, you're asked to call the Palm Beach County Violent Crimes Division at 561-688-4023 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS.

 

EARLIER STORY:

Investigators now say a man killed by his own vehicle was the victim of a carjacking.

67-year-old Robert Brubaker Jr., of West Palm Beach was found dead shortly after midnight Tuesday near the intersection of Haverhill Road and Purdy Lane.

A passerby found his body.

Detectives now believe Brubaker was coming home after a long day of work when he was ambushed. They think he got into a struggle and was killed after his 2008 Mercury Milan struck him.

The car was later recovered on the I-95 northbound on-ramp on Cyprus Creek Road in Broward County.

“His vehicle had pretty  heavy front end damage to the windshield. It would be very recognizable as it was traveling down I-95 or wherever else it was; half of the windshield was basically broken in there was also damage to the hood and the bumper,” Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Detective Jeremy Gelfand said.

Investigators say they searching for more surveillance video and witnesses. If you have any information, you're asked to call the sheriff’s office or Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at 1.800.458.TIPS.