DAYTONA BEACH UNSOLVED MURDERS
A). Monday December 26th, 2005....Laquetta Gunther, shot in the head with a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson Sigma Series VE, body found naked.
B). Saturday January 14th, 2006.....Julie Green, shot in the head with a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson Sigma Series VE, body found naked.
C). Tuesday February 24th, 2006.....Iwana Patton, shot in the head with a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson Sigma Series VE, body found naked.
D). Tuesday December 11th, 2007...Stacey Gage, shot in the head with a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson Sigma Series VE, body found naked.E). Tuesday April 28th, 2015...........Faith Jenkins, body found naked.
The Daytona Beach murders occurred Saturday through Tuesday.
I-4 in Florida runs from the west coast in Tampa directly across the state to Daytona Beach on the east coast it is 132 miles long and very heavily traveled by cars and big rig truckers, see map above. I-4 connects to I-75 on the west coast and I-95 on the east coast also very heavily traveled by cars and big rig truckers going north and south. The body of the first known victim of the Daytona Beach killer Laquetta Gunther, 45, was discovered in an alley off of Beach Street on December 26th, 2005. She had been shot in the head with a .40 caliber handgun. She was found lying in a fetal position. Due to the damage from the gunshot, (hollow point bullet) Gunther had to be identified by her tattoos. She had been killed at least two days before her body was found. A taxi driver told Stacey Dittmer, the victim's closest friend, that he saw an older-looking man with a cigar in his mouth walking out of the alley.
Since then, three more women with known criminal histories have been found slain execution-style, shot in the head, in this Central Florida beachside city best known for its love of motorcycles, auto racing and sunbathing. When the fourth victim was discovered, shot in the head with a .40 caliber handgun, Daytona Beach police knew they were looking for a serial killer. Police think the Daytona Beach killer -- who profilers peg as an everyday guy with relationship troubles -- has slain four women in the past two years, luring them into his car or truck and leaving their naked bodies in secluded areas. Daytona Police Chief Mike Chitwood would not discuss details of Gage's slaying. The other three women, LaQuetta Gunther, Iwana Patton and Julie Ann Green, were all shot in the head. All three had histories of prostitution and their naked bodies were found in relatively secluded areas of the city. With each murder, experts and investigators say, the killer could be emboldened.
The Daytona Beach victims all appear to have been shot in the head with a .40 caliber handgun most likely loaded with hollow point bullets (no tell tale bullet will be found to match to other cases) and the victims bodies were all found naked. Now, police warn that more women, not only those known to work the streets, are at risk.
According to the FBI, the four Daytona Beach killings are among 28 in Florida that are unsolved and connected to serial killings that the bureau suspects were committed by long-haul truckers. Those include 19 deaths along the Interstate 4 corridor between Tampa and Daytona Beach, although all but one local law-enforcement agency denies any serial-killer cases on its books. The FBI report documents dozens of serial killings of people whose bodies were dumped near popular trucking routes. The report is accompanied by a map that shows the FBI plotting more than 500 serial killings — mostly prostitutes and female drug users — across the United States. Daytona Beach police have their killer's DNA from two of the first three victims, but they won't say which. And they won't say whether any DNA was recovered from the fourth. Police have entered the DNA profile into a national database, hoping it will pop up if the killer gets arrested someplace else, obviously the killer is not in the National DNA Index System or NDIS is considered one part of CODIS, the national level, containing the DNA profiles contributed by federal, state, and local participating forensic laboratories.
A few cases are in metro Orlando, according to the FBI map, seen above, but neither the bureau nor local law-enforcement agencies will acknowledge any cases involving serial killers. The FBI also declined to provide a more-detailed map of the Florida deaths. Sheriff's offices in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Volusia and Polk — ones that service the I-4 area in the region — said they have no serial-killer cases. Police agencies in Orlando and Kissimmee said they don't either.
None could explain where the FBI got its information. Only Daytona Beach police acknowledge they are working a serial-killer case. "We have several people, including volunteers, looking at evidence and following up on leads," Capt. Kerry Orpinuk of the Daytona Beach Police Department said. "But there are no leads that point in any one direction."
- A construction worker in January 2006 discovered the body of Julie Ann Green, 34, on an access road off LPGA Boulevard, a remote area near Interstate 95.
- The body of Iwana Patton, 35, was found in February 2006 in a wooded area just east of I-95. The body of the fourth victim, Stacey Gage, was found in January 2008 near an abandoned church less than a mile from I-4.
- The dismembered body of Regan Kendall, 48, was found near Osceola Parkway and Boggy Creek Road in Osceola County in July.
- And deputies in July found the naked body of Kelly Lanthorne, 37, behind the Courtyard Villas apartments, near South Orange Blossom Trail in Orange County.
Investigators in Orange and Osceola have not said how Kelly Lanthorne was slain and would not confirm whether they were victims of a serial killer. Daytona Beach police haven't released many details or a profile of their killer. Osceola County Sheriff’s detectives have confirmed the identity of the body found near Boggy Creek Road as Regan Kendall (DOB 2/12/59) of Kissimmee. Kendall was last seen on June 17 when she was released from the Osceola County jail. Kendall had a history of drug and prostitution charges. On July 5th, 2007 at approximately 5:55 p.m., Osceola County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a suspicious incident near Boggy Creek Road and Osceola Parkway. Upon arrival, deputies spoke with a father and son who indicated they were driving on a dirt road adjacent to Boggy Creek Road to gain access to a pond to go fishing. They saw something on the road and upon a further look realized it might be human remains partially in garbage bags lying on the road. The witnesses notified law enforcement who confirmed the remains were human.
Capt. Kerry Orpinuk of the Daytona Beach Police Department said detectives are using the FBI's report as a tool in their investigation. "We are looking at everything, including what the FBI presented on the highway serial killings," Orpinuk said. "We are not currently working with them, but we are also not ruling anything out." Investigators have few leads because the slain women were mostly prostitutes or drug abusers living on the fringe of society. Their bodies were dumped in remote or obscure locations.
"Victims are often picked up at truck stops or service stations, sexually assaulted and murdered. The victims' bodies are left in rural areas along a highway, often in separate jurisdictions or even different states from where they were initially encountered by the offender," FBI Special Agent Ann Todd said. Federal agents launched the map after linking a trucker to the slayings of seven prostitutes whose bodies had been dumped along Interstate 40 in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi. At least 10 serial killers, all of them long-haul truckers accused of murdering more than 30 women, have been behind bars since 2004.
Melissa McCarthy Comiskey 11-30-2011, body found along I-95 in Kingsland Ga she was kidnapped in Broward County Fl, she was shot in the head. The FBI database includes 15 cases in a 30-mile radius of the I-4 corridor, as well as others near Interstate 95. Todd would not discuss the specifics of those cases. Todd said the suspects' mobility, the high-risk lifestyle of the victims, a lack of witnesses and forensic evidence make these cases almost impossible to solve.
Bill Warner Private Investigator Sarasota SEX, CRIME CHEATERS & TERRORISM at www.wbipi.com