One of three suspects in the death of a man whose body was found outside a church in Lakewood Ranch on July 15 has been booked into Lee County jail and charged with second-degree murder.
Lavaya May, 16, of Lee County was booked into jail Sunday morning. May originally was named as an accessory to the killing of Ted Lee, 58. According to The News-Press of Fort Myers, the teenage girl now faces second-degree murder charges, and Jonathan Ruffini, 18, and Tyson Hunter, 23, also have been charged with second-degree murder. They also face charges of grand theft of an automobile and fraudulent use of a credit card, the newspaper reports.
At about 1 p.m. July 15, deputies with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office responded to Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church, 12905 State Road 70, to reports of a dead body being found near a dumpster. An employee at the church had gone to the dumpster and spotted the body.
The victim was identified as Lee, of Fort Myers, according to sheriff’s office spokesman Dave Bristow.
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That Friday afternoon, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office released information regarding a suspicious incident its detectives were investigating. Lee was considered missing then and believed to be in danger.
Lee County taking the lead in investigating the homicide because detectives believed Lee was killed in Fort Myers and the body transported to Lakewood Ranch, Bristow said.
According to The News-Press, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said May, who lived in the same neighborhood as Lee for years, is “the common thread in his death.” Officials apprehended the three suspects near Topeka, Kan., last week.