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Search for suspect in 2 Pasco killings goes national

A 20-year-old man wanted for the execution-style murders of two Wesley Chapel teenagers has joined a list of the nation's most notorious fugitives.

The U.S. Marshals Office added Luc Pierre-Charles Jr. to its "15 Most Wanted" list Thursday.

A Marshals task force will help the Pasco County Sheriff's Office track down Pierre-Charles, Sheriff Bob White said Thursday morning.

"Today begins an extensive search for Luc Pierre-Charles nationally," White said. "It's only a matter of time before he's apprehended."

Authorities say Pierre-Charles and an accomplice, Tyree Jenkins, 22, shot and killed 17-year-old Derek Pieper and 18-year-old Raymond Veluz during the early hours of July 28, 2006.

Scared witnesses

Days before his death, Pieper told a detective he had fallen in with people who sold drugs. He wanted a new start.

But on the night of July 27, Pieper and Veluz left a party to go buy marijuana, authorities said. At dawn the next day, both were found facedown on a dirt road in Trilby. Each had been shot multiple times in the back.

Authorities first questioned Jeremy Henry, a 20-year-old man suspected of running his own street gang. Henry denied killing Pieper and Veluz. He gave detectives two names: Luc Pierre-Charles and Tyree Jenkins.

Three days later, Henry was found dead on a dirt road in Dade City.

A Tampa man, 26-year-old Commie Lateel "Blackjack" Pattmon, faces capital murder charges for Henry's death. Authorities say Pattmon was paid to kill Henry. Witnesses to the shooting say Pattmon told them: "Loose lips sink ships."

Henry's death scared away witnesses for two years. But last month, someone came forward. That allowed Pasco detectives to obtain warrants for Pierre-Charles and Jenkins.

The day the warrants were issued, Jenkins was pulled over in a traffic stop in Hillsborough County. The officer did a warrant search and took Jenkins to jail on the charge of first-degree murder.

'The most threat'

Pierre-Charles, whose last known address is 31107 Messena Road in Wesley Chapel, slipped away from a Pasco deputy who stopped him in May for an outstanding warrant for a Polk County home invasion. He escaped from the back of a cruiser, shook off a Taser blast and got away. Since then, Pierre-Charles has remained at large.

He was placed on the U.S. Marshals list because of the violent nature of his alleged crimes and the fact that they occurred in two counties, said Assistant Chief Pete Cajigal of the U.S. Marshals, Florida Middle District.

"We're trying to identify the people that pose the most threat to the community," Cajigal said.

Derek Pieper's parents, Steven and Susan Wood, held hands throughout Thursday's announcement. Steven Wood said he hoped Pierre-Charles would get national attention.

"It's an avenue that I believe is necessary to get the word out there that this guy might be next to your house," he said.

Nomaan Merchant can be reached at nmerchant@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6244.

>>Fast Facts

How to help

If you know the whereabouts of Luc Pierre-Charles Jr., call the U.S. Marshals Service toll-free at 1-800-336-0102. A $25,000 reward is offered for information leading to his arrest.

Search for suspect in 2 Pasco killings goes national 08/21/08 [Last modified: Saturday, August 23, 2008 5:51pm]
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