Fugitive Suspected Of Murder Captured In North Carolina After Crashing Vehicle Of Missing Florida Lyft Driver

lyft case
Source: Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office; Palm Beach Gardens Police Department

Feb. 6 2023, Published 11:27 a.m. ET

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A man wanted for murder was arrested after he crashed a vehicle in North Carolina belonging to a missing elderly Lyft driver from Florida, authorities said.

Gary Levin, 74, of Palm Beach Gardens, and his vehicle disappeared and family have not seen or heard from him since Jan. 30, KTCB reported.

He was last seen in Okeechobee, Florida.

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On Feb. 2, Levin’s family said deputies in North Carolina got into a high-speed chase with someone behind the wheel of Levin’s vehicle. After speeding through three counties, the driver, later identified as Mathew Scott Flores, wrecked the car, KTBC reported.

Flores was transported to an area hospital for treatment of injuries he sustained in the crash.

According to police in Wauchula, Florida, Flores was wanted in connection with the Jan. 24 fatal shooting of Jose Carlos Martinez and authorities believed Martinez was driving a 2017 Nissan.

“Early indications are the vehicle Flores was in was in fact Mr. Levin’s vehicle, and that connection will be confirmed as soon as possible,” Wauchula Police Chief John Eason said, KTBC reported.

According to the station, Levin’s daughter, Lindsay DiBetta, wrote on Facebook that Levin’s car was located in North Carolina but there was “no sign” of her missing dad.

“The driver was involved in a high speed chase but was eventually caught,” DiBetta wrote. “This is not a good person, he had a warrant out for his arrest for a recent homicide and he was trying to flee.”

DiBetta told Fox News Digital she’s hopeful Flores will provided information about where he got her father’s vehicle “so we can find my dad.”

“We cannot wait for answers and a court date,” she said. “If my dad's out there we need to know.”

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According to WPBF, Wauchula Police Chief John Eason said of the case, “It's tragic that we're already investigating a homicide and even more tragic, tragic that we're now trying to look for and find Mr. Levin.”

“That's the one side of this case that no agency ever wants to have that twist or turn in,” he continued “But fortunately, at this point, Mr. Flores is in custody. He is not going to be getting out of jail any time soon.”

Anyone with information about Gary Levin’s possible whereabouts is asked to contact the Palm Beach Gardens Police Departmetn at (561) 799-4445.


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