Friday, February 23, 2018
Public safety

Plant City man jailed

A Plant City man was arrested Friday, accused of killing a Tampa woman whose body was found in a river in Georgia, authorities said.

Joshua Lamar Helton, 25, was arrested late Friday night by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office on a Georgia warrant for murder, jail records show.

Helton is charged with killing Judy Larue Murrow, 63, whose body was found Thursday in the Ocmulgee River in rural southeastern Georgia. Neither Murrow nor Helton is believed to have connections to the area where her body was found, according to Telfair County (Ga.) Sheriff Chris Steverson.

Murrow was shot in the head, Steverson said Saturday, and her body was probably in the river for several days before it was found July 4. Steverson did not have information on a possible motive for the crime, saying only that Helton and Murrow were former neighbors and that her family knew the Plant City man.

"We're still investigating," Steverson said.

Steverson declined to release any more information regarding the case, or what led his investigators to Helton.

Murrow's fully clothed body was found by a fisherman Thursday morning in the river near Jacksonville, Ga., according to the Telfair Sheriff's Office. She had no identification information on her, so her body was sent to a state crime lab in Atlanta, nearly 200 miles away. On Friday, investigators identified the body and obtained the arrest warrant for Helton.

Helton was taken into custody just before midnight Friday without incident, according to the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office. He remained in the Hillsborough County Jail Saturday without bail. He has not been convicted of a crime in Florida before, state records show.

Helton was a 2007 graduate of Plant City High School, where he played offensive line for the football team.

No other information about Murrow was immediately available Saturday. No one answered the door at her home east of Tampa, near Interstate 75.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Will Hobson can be reached at (813) 226-3400 or [email protected]

Comments
Deputy ‘never went in’ during Parkland school shooting. There were other failures, too

Deputy ‘never went in’ during Parkland school shooting. There were other failures, too

Eight days after mass shooter Nikolas Cruz murdered 17 people inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Broward’s top cop on Thursday revealed a stunning series of failures by the sheriff’s department.A school campus cop heard the gunfire, rushed ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Florida man yells ‘murderers!’ as he’s executed for slaying

Florida man yells ‘murderers!’ as he’s executed for slaying

Associated PressSTARKE — An inmate convicted of raping and killing a college student decades ago screamed and yelled "murderers!" three times, thrashing on a gurney as he was being put to death Thursday. The governor’s office said Eric Scott Branch, ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Polk deputies seek Pinellas man accused of pushing woman from speeding car

Polk deputies seek Pinellas man accused of pushing woman from speeding car

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said an arrest warrant was issued for a Pinellas County man accused of beating and pushing a woman from a speeding car.The incident took place on Feb. 17, the Sheriff’s Office said. Remond Brown II, 26, was traveling ...
Published: 02/22/18
Dunedin man seriously injured in motorcycle crash

Dunedin man seriously injured in motorcycle crash

OLDSMAR — A 37-year-old Dunedin man was seriously injured in a high-speed motorcycle crash early Thursday morning, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies said Justin Kaune was riding southbound on Bayside Boulevard around 2:30 a.m...
Published: 02/22/18
Police seek machete-wielding suspect in Plant City robbery

Police seek machete-wielding suspect in Plant City robbery

PLANT CITY — Police are searching for a man armed with a machete accused of robbing a convenience store on Tuesday.The man arrived at the Circle K convenience store station at 1514 Alexander St. S at about 2:50 a.m. and demanded money from store empl...
Published: 02/22/18
Clearwater police chief forms special unit for repeat offenders

Clearwater police chief forms special unit for repeat offenders

CLEARWATER — Police Chief Dan Slaughter started this month a new unit to target repeat offenders and nuisance properties.The Special Enforcement Unit consists of six police officers and a sergeant from within the department to focus on the small grou...
Published: 02/22/18
Tip leads police to find body inside van in Walmart parking lot

Tip leads police to find body inside van in Walmart parking lot

TARPON SPRINGS — Police are conducting a death investigation after a body was found Thursday in a van at a Walmart parking lot.Officers were dispatched to the store at about 1:30 p.m. when an employee reported that an older-model, white Ford E-150 va...
Published: 02/22/18
Man rescued after boat swept away, capsizes in Little Manatee River

Man rescued after boat swept away, capsizes in Little Manatee River

RUSKIN — A man was rescued early Thursday morning after his boat was swept away by a strong tide and capsized in the Little Manatee River, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The incident started at about 2 a.m., deputies said, when...
Published: 02/22/18

Tampa police release name of man killed in hit-and-run on Adamo Drive

TAMPA — Police have released the name of a man struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver on Adamo Drive early Wednesday.Christopher Magdic, 41, of Tampa was walking west in the eastbound lanes of Adamo Drive about 4:15 a.m. when was struck by an unkn...
Published: 02/22/18
Hillsborough County inmate dies after becoming unresponsive at Falkenburg Road jail

Hillsborough County inmate dies after becoming unresponsive at Falkenburg Road jail

TAMPA — A 54-year-old inmate died Saturday after she became unresponsive at the Falkenburg Road Jail, authorities said.Tammie Castro was alert in the jail infirmary when jail officials called for paramedics at 3:34 a.m. but became unresponsive within...
Published: 02/22/18