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Man In Custody In Connection With Murder Of 65-Year-Old Florida Woman Found Dead On Valentine’s Day

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Source: Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office; UNSPLASH

Dec. 2 2022, Published 11:13 a.m. ET

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A suspect is in custody nearly 10 months after a woman was killed in her Florida home on Valentine’s Day, authorities announced.

Early on the morning of Feb. 14, 2021, a relative who wasn’t able to contact 65-year-old Cynthia Smith by phone checked on her and found her dead inside her Jacksonville residence, WJXT reported.

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Investigators determined the victim possibly died as the result of foul play several days prior to her body being discovered, police said.

Jonathan Wanchik, 38, was identified as a suspect in the case, and U.S. marshals arrested him on an unrelated active arrest warrant, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said.

On Nov. 29, Wanchik was transported to Duval County, where he was interviewed by investigators and then placed under arrest on a second-degree murder charge.

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Court records obtained by WJXT show Wanchik previously pleaded no contest to a domestic violence charge and he was placed on four years of probation after he was arrested in 2020 in St. Johns County for threatening a family member with a knife.

The day after Smith’s murder, on Feb. 15, he was charged with violating his probation in connection with the case. He served time in the St. Johns County jail and was released in July.

The relationship between Wanchik and the murder victim, Smith, is unclear.

Officials have not released a possible motive for the slaying.

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