In a second case on Tuesday, a man who authorities said was operating the vehicle of a deceased South Florida Lyft driver was charged with murder and other offenses.
According to court documents, a grand jury in Hardee County indicted 35-year-old Matthew Flores on first-degree murder, grand theft auto, firearm possession by a felon, and tampering with evidence.
The charges stem from the shooting death of 43-year-old Jose Carlos Martinez in Wauchula on January 24.
By Jan. 30, when Lyft driver Gary Levin, 74, went missing after dropping off a customer in Okeechobee, a small community just north of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee and roughly 70 miles (110 kilometers) east of Wauchula, police were actively looking for Flores in that case.
Following his abduction, Levin’s red 2022 Kia Stinger was seen in Miami, Okeechobee, and Gainesville in north Florida.
A U.S. officer stopped the car on February 2 in North Carolina.
The Marshals regional task force notified authorities to be on the lookout.
Following a police chase through three counties, Flores, the car’s driver, was apprehended, according to officials. After Levin vanished, a dead body was discovered near Okeechobee; it was later determined that this was the driver.
With a hearing set on Wednesday, Flores was being held in North Carolina on a $2 million bail.
He’ll be sent back to Florida eventually.
It was unknown if Flores had a lawyer to represent him in court.