Police: Florida man killed sleeping couple, buried bodies in swamp with stepdaughter’s help
POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Authorities said a Florida man fatally shot a couple while they slept and then asked his stepdaughter to help bury the bodies in a swamp.
Polk County Sheriff Grady said they learned of the killings amid reports that 19-year-old Amberlyn Nichols was trying to sell the dead man’s truck for $200.
When authorities questioned her, the sheriff said she told them her stepfather, Todd Jackson, 34, killed Raymond and Crystal Cline, 33 and 37, while they slept and then asked her and her boyfriend to help clean up the crime scene and dump the bodies. They were found in a low-lying wooded area behind their home on Windy Hill Road on Friday evening, March 6. Sheriff’s officials said based on the state of decomposition, they had been deceased for “some time.” They appeared to have been shot.
Sheriff’s officials said the Clines regularly scrapped metal up until Feb. 21 — and family was unable to reach them since that time.
According to sheriff’s officials, Amberlyn Nichols told at least one witness she knew the Clines had been murdered and their bodies were dumped. She alleged Raymond Cline stole money from Jackson, and Jackson shot them in the head.
Sheriff’s officials said Nichols’ boyfriend, Larry Waters, Jr., 19, also helped clean the crime scene and dispose of the bodies.
Detectives also interviewed a witness who said he/she observed Jackson pointing a handgun at the victims before shooting them.
Nichols and the boyfriend admitted they had knowledge of the murder, they knew the man and women were deceased, they knew their bodies had been dumped, and they did not report this to law enforcement, sheriff’s official said.
Todd Jackson was arrested and charged Saturday with two counts of first-degree murder.
Nichols was arrested on charges of accessory after the fact, dealing in stolen property, and failing to report a death.
Waters Jr. was arrested on charges of accessory after the fact and failing to report a death.