You can edit text on your website by double clicking on a text box on your website. Alternatively, when you select a text box a settings menu will appear. Selecting 'Edit Text' from this menu will also allow you to edit the text within this text box. Remember to keep your wording friendly, approachable and easy to understand as if you were talking to your customer

HIGHLANDS COUNTY
SHERIFF'S OFFICE NEWS

HCSO video

OPEN/UNSOLVED MAJOR CASES

If you have any information about any of these cases, please contact the Highlands County Sheriff's Office at 863-402-7200. If you would like to leave an anonymous tip and be eligible for a cash reward, please call Heartland Crimestoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8447) or visit www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com

 

Missing Persons

Amanda Holland

Amanda Holland was last seen May 23 in Highway Park and last heard from on May 24. She has no phone, car or bank account, which makes it hard to track her movements. 

Amanda is 25 years old. She is 5-foot-6 and 125 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes.


Case number: HCSO17OFF004985

​ 

Eric and Martin Diaz-Cabanas

Eric Diaz-Cabanas (left), 24, and his brother, 19-year-old Martin Diaz-Cabanas were last seen in Avon Park on May 27, 2017. 


Their disappearance is suspicious and there was evidence of violence at their last known location. 

Theodore Black

 Theodore Fredrick Black Jr., 84, was last seen alive on March 6, 2000 at his home at 2132 Bayview St. in Sebring.  Mr. Black left his wife, Edna Black (now deceased), a note stating he believed he was certain he had an illness.  The note stated he had money put away and could get along for a while.  The note stated he planned on going from small city to city to get by and he did not want to end up in a hospital. 


Mrs. Black stated her husband should have with him his wallet, with a Texas DL, Social Security card, Shrinker's Visa card, AT&T Master card and a First Virginia Visa card. 


Mr. Black is likely deceased, as he would currently be more than 100 years old. 

  


Case number: HCSO06OFF000028

  

 

April Wentworth Moody

 April Wentworth Moody was last known to be alive at the age of 36 in November of 1990 in Highlands County.  During the time period, she was last living at 100 Parkland Drive Lake Placid Florida.  She was possibly last seen around Rodney's Bar in Lake Placid on Nov.  9, 1990.


Moody has not been heard of since 1990 and is presumed dead. 


Case number: HCSO06OFF007766

  

 

Vivian Barrett

  Vivian Barrett was 63 in 1988 when she purchased a Honda motor scooter in Glendale, Calif. and set out on her scooter to see the United States.  She sometimes stayed with friends or camped out in a two-person dome tent.  She carried these items on the back of her scooter in a plastic milk carton. 

 
In November of 1988, she lived in Myakka River State Park and Oscar Scherer State Park in Sarasota County as funds permitted.  When she was low on cash, she stayed in her tent in the woods just off the roadway. 

 On Jan. 3, she went to an ATM machine in Sarasota Florida and withdrew $260. The next day, 
she wrote and mailed a letter to her family advising that she was leaving the Sarasota County Florida area for North Florida. 

Five days later, on Jan. 9, 1989,  Barrett's scooter was found in a wooded area off State Road 66 in Highlands County, some 107 miles east of her last known location.  The tag had been removed, as had the milk crate containing the tent.  Family members advised that Barrett was very confrontational, which may have led to her disappearance and probable death.  However, she also wrote that if she got sick she would die in the woods.

Case number: HCSO06OFF007218

  

 

Homicides

Eljunio Diesgas Estrada

37-year-old Eljunio Diesgas Estrada’s body was located in the Indian Prairie Canal (AKA C40 Canal) on State Road 70 East in Lake Placid on April 27, 2015 at approximately 7:44 a.m. Employees of the Southwest Florida Water Management District, Joshua Tomasello and David Lowder, discovered Estrada’s body. 


Case number: HCSO15OFF003225

  

 

Finero Frank Finnikin

37-year-old Finero Frank Finnkin was discovered on the side of Maxcy Road in Sebring on June 10, 2014. He had been shot multiple times. 


Case number: HCSO14OFF003225

  

 

Gerardo Rezendiz

On the morning hours of March 28, 2014, 55-year-old Gerardo Rezendiz was discovered lying on the ground in a dirt trail behind Lupita Grocery located at 269 Highlands Boulevard in Lake Placid.  Rezendiz suffered from a severe head injury.  Rezendiz was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital for further treatment where he succumbed to his injuries. 

  


Case number: HCSO14OFF002728

  

 

Ana Jaramillo

During the morning hours of March 13, 2007, 36-year-old Ana Jaramillo was viscously attacked and murdered in her residence at 140 Cumberland Street in Lake Placid.  Jaramillo lived at the residence with her husband.

  


Case number: HCSO07OFF001752

  

 

Level Marc

Level Marc, 50, was a self-employed harvesting crew-leader.  Marc lived at 441 Perry Drive in Avon Park with his girlfriend and her two children.  Marc recently returned home from harvesting vegetables in New York.  On November 11, 2005 Marc was in bed and exited to get something to drink.  When Marc exited the bedroom he observed a figure in their living room area wearing dark clothing.  Marc engaged in a physical altercation with the subject.  The struggle began inside the residence and ended outside their front door.  Marc was transported to the local hospital and then flown to Tampa for advanced treatment where he died as a result of his injuries. 

  


Case number: HCSO07OFF005574

  

 

Sue Feathers

On May 21, 2003 Sue Feathers, 59, was working at her dry dleaners located in the South Highlands Shopping Center at 512 Dal Hall Blvd. in Lake Placid. She was last seen alive by a customer around 9:08 a.m. and then found by another customer around 9:30 a.m. dead in the rear of the store.

  


Case number: HCSO07OFF000115

  

 

Maximo Garay-Hernandez

The body of Maximo Garay-Hernandez was discovered at 8:42 a.m. on November 17, 2002 -- two days after his 32nd birthday -- in a vacant lot next to El Mercadito Store in Lake Placid.    

Contact was made with subjects identified as Lucio and Amado who were family members of Garay.  Lucio and Amado provided information that Garay’s wife was in Mexico. Felipe Garay Hernandez was identified as the brother of Maximo Garay and lived in Dallas. 

  

  


Case number: HCSO07OFF007131

  

 

Joseph Hunter

The body of 48-year-old Joseph Hunter was found around 5:30 a.m. on Feb. 14, 1999 in the back yard of his residence at 204 Montego Drive in Sebring. A gunshot was heard about 10 p.m. the night before. 

  

  


Case number: HCSO07OFF001118

  

 

Cheryl Ann Khachigan

Cheryl Ann Khachigan, 58, was found on January 10, 1996, on Scrub Pens Rd., Sebring. Her body was in a ditch at the end of a 4-mile stretch of shell rock road.  Khachigan was last seen around December 23, 1995 at her residence in Avon Park. She had last been seen around Dec. 23 in Avon Park. 

  

  


Case number: HCSO07OFF006917

  

 

Barbara Ann Fluellen

The body of 50-year-old Barbara Ann Fluellen was discovered August 13, 1993 in Venus. She was in canal off County Road 731 near Fishing Eating Creek, on SR 731 (approximately 7.5 miles west of US  27). She had been strangled to death. Fluellen was last seen in the Ft. Myers area on the evening of August 12, 1993. 

  

  

 

Case number: HCSO07OFF007363

  

 

Gaspard Anounce

  

Gaspard Anounce was last seen alive around 9 a.m. on Jan. 15, 1992 by his roommate in their small travel trailer to the east of 151 Park Street (now E. A. Smith Street) in Lake Placid.  Anounce was discovered, beaten to death, in the residence around 6:42 p.m. the next day.

  

  Case number: HCSO07OFF000076

  

 

Miguel Rivero Vega

Miguel Vega, 55, was shot and killed in the early morning hours of January 23, 1991on Lott’s Grade, located off Grahams Dairy Road, in Lake Placid.  Vega was located by his family.  The family then drove the victim to the Lake Placid Police Department. 

  

  

  

 

Case number: HCSO07OFF007709

  

 

Tenia Renee Duffell

Tenia Duffell's partially decomposed body was found on Feb. 4, 1990 in Charlie Bowleg's Creek on SR 66 about ¼ mile east of the Hardee County line.  Duffell, who was 46 at the time of her death, was not identified until 1995 through fingerprint comparison and medical records.  Duffell’s family was located in 2002.  Duffell was a truck driver and known to hang around truck stops.  Duffell may have walked with a limp and/or used a crutch due to a broken leg one to three months prior to her death.  

  

 

Case number: HCSO07OFF007362

  

 

Adolfo Nunez Rodriguez

 Adolfo Rodriguez, 58, was found May 27, 1989 floating in the C-41A canal (also known as the Slew Ditch) which is a canal that runs from Lake Istokpoga to the Kissimmee River.  Rodriguez was identified by fingerprints obtained during his immigration application about one month later.  Rodriguez was last seen in Okeechobee on May 24, 1989. 

  

 Case number: HCSO07OFF007408

  

 

Unidentifed Mexican male

The decomposed body of a man was found in wooded area about 50 feet west of County Road 635 and approximately one mile south of Vaughn Rd., west of Sebring on March 22, 1987.  The victim, who had most likely been shot to death, was wearing brown cowboy boots, grey pin stripped dress pants, simulated alligator belt, silver metal Timex watch, white undershorts, and tan/brown shirt. Detectives are trying to get a 3D facial reconstruction of the victim created. 

  

  

 Case number: HCSO07OFF007289

  

 

James Richard Wert

Skeletal remains were discovered January 20, 1987 in a cow pasture off the end of Elliott Road in Sebring.  The skeletal remains were believed to have been in the pasture for three to five years.  In 2010, a family reference sample of mitochondrial DNA identifed the remains as those of James Richard "Dick" Wert, who was born on May 9, 1928. An acquaintance  said Wert always carried a small pistol and had said on multiple occasions that when he ran out of money he was going to commit suicide.  

  

 

Case number: HCSO08OFF003078

  

 

Antonio Salgado

Just after 1 a.m. on Dec. 17, 1980, police were dispatched to 525 S. Main Street, Lake Placid  in reference to a disturbance. Upon arrival the body of 25-year-old Antonio Salgado was discovered on the floor in the pool room. He had been beaten with pool cues and shot multiple times during a fight. A suspect in the case fled to Mexico before he could be questioned. 

  

  

 Case number: HCSO07OFF007482

  

 

William Luther Hinote

On May 13, 1979 at about 3 a.m., a fire completely destroyed the victim’s mobile home near Venus.  Hinote's body was found the next day in the remains of the home. He was burned beyond recognition, but identified via medical records. Hinote's truck was missing from the scene and was later found in Brooksville. 


A main suspect was identified, but he is deceased. 

  

  

 

Case number: HCSO07OFF007480