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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (CBSMiami/AP) —  Authorities said a former University of Florida professor found dead inside his burning home, was killed by an ex-convict who received $37,000 from the professor in recent years.

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An autopsy on the professor, 75-year-old Thomas Oakland, found that he’d been fatally struck in the head and body and was likely already dead when fire consumed his Gainesville home on Wednesday.

Police opened a homicide investigation and began searching for a man whom the professor had been helping financially for the past few years.

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Late Thursday, they arrested 37-year-old Stephen Underwood Jr. in Jacksonville.

Gainesville Police spokesman Officer Ben Tobias says Underwood knew Oakland kept cash in his home.

Underwood’s wife told police her husband recently obtained a large bag of cash. The amount was not immediately clear.

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