Days after police claimed a murder suspect was caught in a missing Lyft driver’s car, the Lyft driver’s daughter says that he was found dead.
“At this time my family and I are asking for privacy so we can process the unfortunate information we have received,” Gary Levin’s daughter Lindsay DiBetta said on Tuesday. “My dad was truly a one of kind person, if you knew him or even met him once you know exactly what I mean when I say that. The stories I have received about him from friends, family and complete strangers over the last week have lifted me up more than you can ever realize.”
She previously said her father went missing Jan. 30. Levin was seen doing a Lyft pickup that afternoon, which they believe was local to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, she said.
A man’s remains were found in a wooded area in Okeechobee County on Saturday, authorities said.
“Positive identification of the person is pending autopsy,” the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office said.
When a commenter discussed news that this could be Levin, deputies said on Sunday that the medical examiner still had to release a report.
The case ended up with a sprawling reach. Palm Beach Gardens cops said Levin’s car was eventually spotted over 200 miles away in Gainesville, Florida.
Then later, deputies in Rutherford County, North Carolina, said they arrested Matthew Scott Flores, who was wanted down in Wauchula, Florida, for allegedly shooting and killing Jose Carlos Martinez on Jan. 24.
Flores was driving Levin’s car, according to Wauchula Police Chief John Eason in a WPBF report from Friday. It is unclear if and how both men crossed paths.
“But as far as where that interaction came from, when Mr. Flores came into possession of Mr. Levin’s vehicle, from our standpoint, is unknown at this point,” Eason said.
Officers caught up with Flores and eventually took him into custody.
“Flores was involved in a police chase that crossed three counties in North Carolina on February 2nd, 2023,” Wauchula investigators said. “Flores was taken into custody and was hospitalized after a crash that ended the pursuit along Main Street and Hollis Road in Ellenboro, North Carolina.”
“The pursuit entered Rutherford County on U.S. Highway 64 and continued through the Bostic and Ellenboro areas,” Rutherford County deputies said. “The pursuit was terminated by utilizing a pursuit intervention technique. However, the suspect then led troopers and deputies on a short foot pursuit before being apprehended.”
Deputies locked up Flores at the Rutherford County Detention Center.
“It’s tragic that we’re already investigating a homicide and even more tragic, tragic that we’re now trying to look for and find Mr. Levin,” Eason reportedly said of the missing Levin “That’s the one side of this case that no agency ever wants to have that twist or turn in. But fortunately, at this point, Mr. Flores is in custody. He is not going to be getting out of jail any time soon.”
Levin’s last known location was dropping off a customer in Okeechobee, Florida, according to the outlet. It was in Okeechobee County that local deputies announced finding a man dead on Saturday. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said on Tuesday that they discovered his identity and told his family, but they will not release his name, citing Marsy’s law. The investigation into that death is ongoing. Authorities did not publicly connect this to Levin.
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