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Man arrested on murder charge in St. Pete shopping plaza death

Scott Jenks, 48, was found dead in a St. Petersburg shopping center parking lot on Tuesday.

ST. PETERSBURG ⁠— A 36-year-old man faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of a man whose body was found in a shopping center parking lot earlier this week, police said.

Kristoff A. King was taken into custody Thursday in Alachua County in the death of Scott Jenks, 48, according to St. Petersburg police.

Related: Man, 48, found dead in St. Pete shopping plaza. Now it’s a homicide investigation.

Jenks was found at 4:40 a.m. Tuesday lying on the ground of the Northgate Center parking lot at 1144 94th Ave. N, police said. He had been seen hours earlier at the Sports Bar & Grill in the plaza.

The 48-year-old was beaten to death, police said.

St. Petersburg police spokeswoman Sandra Bentil said the investigation is still ongoing and that the department could not say what evidence links King to the murder, how he was identified or why he was in Alachua County.

“What was important is we got him in custody,” she said.

King will be brought back to Pinellas County to stand trial.

Editor’s Note: Police initially released the suspect’s identity with an incorrect spelling of the first name. The spelling has now been corrected.