Around 10 a.m. on Feb. 4, an agent from Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) discovered a decomposed body of an adult male in the 1100 block of North E. 40th Terrace
OKEECHOBEE- Around 10 a.m. on Feb. 4, an agent from Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) discovered a decomposed body of an adult male in the 1100 block of North E. 40th Terrace across from the Agri-Civic Center.
Detectives from the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office assisted FDLE agents in processing the scene, and the remains were sent to the Medical Examiner’s office for identification.
The discovery of the remains came a week after a Palm Beach Gardens Lyft driver was last seen in Okeechobee. Before going missing. Gary Levin, 74, had picked up a fare on Jan. 30 that began in Delray Beach and ended in Okeechobee.
Lindsay DiBetta, Levin’s daughter, asked for help locating him on her social media. DiBetta said that the last calls and Lyft location data point to her dad being in Okeechobee at around 4 p.m. on Jan. 30 before his phone was turned off.
Three days after he went missing, Levin’s Red 2022 Kia Stinger was involved in a high speed chase in North Carolina that spanned three counties and ultimately ended in a crash. But the 74-year-old Lyft driver was nowhere to be found. Instead, a 35-year-old Arcadia man named Matthew Scott Flores was the lone occupant. Flores was wanted in connection to a murder that occurred on Jan. 24 in Hardee County.
According to the Wauchula Police Department, Flores is currently being charged with second-degree murder for the killing of Jose Carlos Martinez. Wauchula Police say Stephanie Velgara, who assisted Flores in fleeing from law enforcement in Florida, has also been arrested and is being charged as an accessory after the fact for second-degree murder for the role she played.
“The sadness and the frustration in this is all so much for my family and I,” said DiBetta on Feb. 4. “I appreciate all the reach out and positive prayers. Since this case is being looked at by so many people at this point I have to have faith in our legal system and the people working on it.”