Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fugitives linked to Florida slaying

PALATKA, Fla., April 16 (UPI) -- Two Florida prison fugitives may have been involved in the slaying of the grandmother of one of them, officials said.

A search intensified Thursday for Doni Ray Brown, 23, and Timothy Wayne Fletcher, 25, who broke out of the Putnam County jail in Palatka, Fla., hours before authorities found Fletcher's grandmother Helen Key Googe, 66, dead in her home Wednesday and her car missing.

Police suspect the fugitives fled in Googe's 1999 gold, four-door Lincoln with a tan vinyl top and a Florida tag (H28-8TV), the Jacksonville Times-Union said.

About 40 officers took part in the search with tracking dogs and a helicopter. Residents within a 5-mile radius of the jail were notified of the escape.

Googe and her husband had taken in Fletcher for four months about a year ago when he had nowhere to go, her cousin Jackie Cone told police.

Cone said Fletcher had stolen prescription medicine and other items and that Googe was glad he had been arrested.

Brown was arrested Aug. 17 on an armed-robbery charge. Fletcher was charged March 3 on three counts of failure to appear in court on an aggravated assault charge.

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