Car of missing 74-year-old Lyft driver found in North Carolina
Officials in North Carolina have a man in custody who was behind the wheel of Gary Levins 2022 red Kia Stinger.
74-year-old Gary Levin of Palm Beach Gardens, is a Lyft driver who has been missing since Monday, after picking up rides in his car. The man has identified the man as Matthew Scott Flores, wanted for murder in Hardee County.
Flores took police on a chase through McDowell County and into Rutherford.
The suspect was taken to the hospital at his request.
He will appear in North Carolina court Friday.
Here is the info from the Rutherford County, NC Sheriff
Murder Suspect Arrested After Multi County Pursuit
On Thursday February 2, 2023 the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, Forest City Police Department, and Spindale Police Department assisted the North Carolina Highway Patrol and the U.S. Marshals Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force with a multi-county vehicle pursuit involving a murder suspect. The pursuit entered Rutherford County on U.S. Highway 64 and continued through the Bostic and Ellenboro areas. 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. The suspect, Matthew Scott Flores 35, was wanted in both North Carolina and Florida for multiple felonies.
Due to the apparent impairment of Flores suspected narcotic use, Flores was provided medical attention by Rutherford County EMS and transported to Rutherford Regional Health System for evaluation. After receiving medical clearance, Flores was transported to the Rutherford County Detention Center.
Matthew Scott Flores charges are as follows:
• Parole Violation
• Felony Speed to Elude Arrest
• Second Degree Murder
• Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon
• Discharge Firearm in Public
• Violation of Supervised Pretrial Release
Flores is currently held in the Rutherford County Detention Center with no bond for the Parole Violation and a total of $615,000 secured bond on the remaining North Carolina charges.
The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office would like to sincerely thank the North Carolina Highway Patrol, U.S. Marshals Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force, Forest City Police Department, Spindale Police Department, Rutherford County EMS, and Rutherford Regional Health System for the outstanding professionalism and teamwork to ensure the safety of the citizens and the apprehension of this violent offender.
Wauchula Police Department
** HOMICIDE SUSPECT CAPTURED ****
A team of investigators from the Wauchula Police Department is headed to Rutherford County, N.C., after homicide suspect, Mathew Scott Flores was captured. Flores was involved in a police chase that crossed three counties in North Carolina on February 2nd, 2023. 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. Our team of investigators has been in close contact with law enforcement representatives from the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.
Flores is currently being charged with second-degree murder for the killing of Jose Carlos Martinez. 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 has played throughout this tragic incident. While Flores has been arrested, and the investigation is still active. As the investigation continues, we will focus on and identify those who aided or assisted Flores to ensure they are charged appropriately for their role in Flores’ flight from law enforcement.
STOP and take a good look at this wanted murder suspect on the run! Right now the search is on for Matthew Scott Flores, who has an active warrant for Murder in Hardee County within the city of Wauchula. Flores was last seen driving a Nissan Altima with Florida License Plate Tag JTHQ77.
The DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office was requested to assist Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Wauchula Police Department during the investigation. Our DCSO Dive Team assisted by searching for the suspected firearm used in the homicide at a pond in Hardee County. Our detectives followed up on information leads in DeSoto County as well.
The information obtained during our assistance has been passed along to detectives continuing the investigation, and now we need YOUR help! If you have any details on the whereabouts of this individual, report the information through our tip line at 1-800-780-TIPS.
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