Boyfriend arrested in May murder case

MANATEE — A 26-year-old man was arrested and charged with murder in the death of his girlfriend two months ago.

Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies served an arrest warrant Tuesday night on Johnathon Holte for the May 22 death of 21-year-old Malenne Meranvil.

“We suspected him all along,” said David Bristow, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, “but we needed physical evidence to make the arrest.”

The investigators received that evidence last week and secured the arrest warrant from a judge.

“It was DNA matches that link him to the crime,” Bristow said.

Meranvil was found beaten to death in her home in the 2500 block of 55th Avenue West shortly after noon May 22. Holte was the one who reported finding his girlfriend dead.

“When we went to the scene,” Bristow said, “(Holte) talked about having a fight with her.”

Holte and Meranvil lived together and family and neighbors said they were always arguing.

Holte was released from the Manatee County jail Thursday, where he was held on an arrest warrant for beating Meranvil a few weeks before her death.

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