Polk County officials are trying to determine what caused a 16-year-old boy to kill another teen with a baseball bat on Monday.

  • Investigators trying to determine motive in teen baseball bat death
  • Giovanni Diaz, 15, beaten to death
  • Teen suspect could face charges as an adult

As the investigation continues, authorities are searching for a motive in the killing and exploring if the teen will be charged as an adult. The 16-year-old has been charged with first degree murder, possession of marijuana less than 20 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The suspect and the 15-year-old victim Giovanni Diaz, were in a wooded area off Caloosa Boulevard near Lake Wales when the beating happened, according to officials. 

According to Polk Sheriff Grady Judd, deputies responded to the Caloosa Park mobile home park near Caloosa Boulevard and Lake Boulevard after the agency received a 911 call from the 16-year-old, who reported hitting Diaz, an 8th grader at Frostproof Middle School, with a baseball bat and killing him.

Upon their arrival, the 16-year-old, who we are not naming in accordance with our Crime Guidelines, confirmed to deputies that he "wailed" on the victim with the bat.

The suspect is in custody at the county's juvenile detention center. 

The arrest is not the 16-year-old's first. 

Two years ago, he was arrested for punching Diaz in the face. He also was arrested for domestic violence against his father.