FL - Fred Laster, 16, found dismembered, Lake City, 5 June 1994 *Arrest*

Discussion in 'Currently Awaiting Trial' started by JasonFutchLakeCityFL, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. JasonFutchLakeCityFL

    JasonFutchLakeCityFL Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I would like to make my inaugural post here about an unidentified person whose remains (consisted of only a torso) was found at a BP Gas Station in along Hwy. 441 and Interstate 10 in Lake City, FL on June 5th, 1994. This is from the Columbia County (FL) Crime Stoppers page concerning the investigation:

    "On June 5, 1994, a woman discovered the torso of a body on the back side of a dumpster located at the BP Gas Station on the north side of Interstate 10 and US 441 in Lake City, Florida.

    Investigators with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office were able to determine from smear and drag marks that the suspect had attempted to put black garbage bags, one of which contained the torso, into the dumpster but the torso slid out of the bag and left blood marks on the front of the dumpster. The suspect then dragged the torso over the asphalt to the back of the dumpster. The remaining garbage bags located in the dumpster contained an egg crate-type mattress that the suspect used to put down in a bath tub while he dismembered the victim and two Ginsu-type Tristar kitchen knives. There were also several green, flower shaped, nonskid, self-sticking pieces that were believed to have come from the bath tub where the victim was dismembered. Blood stained orange latex gloves were found in the dumpster.

    The victim is described as a young white male, approximately 16-22 years of age, possibly older. The estimated height of the victim is between 5’5 to 5’11. The hair on the back of what was left of the neck was light brown, grown out about ¼”, bleached on the top. The body weight is estimated to be between 170 and 205 pounds. The only identifying mark on the torso was a mole located on the lower right chest. The blood type of the victim is type A, unknown whether positive or negative."

    I have had theories on this case as well as others I have interviewed as part of a freelance project. This case has hit home to me being that this was a young individual who has yet to be identified but has alot of potential TO BE identified. I have also thought of this case as well, which I will link from Doe Network of a missing individual who went missing around this time. Since the discovery, only one comparison has been made and that was of a Gainesville boy, which came back negative. Here is the link and please help us with this as well as my local LE in Columbia County. Below is the link to Erik Patchin, a good match to the John Doe's description:

    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/940dmfl.html
     
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  2. Cazzie

    Cazzie This is love

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    I'm presuming that LE/ME didn't do DNA testing of anything at the time of discovery. Did they do blood-typing of the blood smears and other items (to determine if it was just the victim's blood)?

    Even so, perhaps evidence was stored.

    Has LE done DNA/blood-typing testing of the torso and other items recovered from the dumpster scene since then?

    What were the circumstances of this woman finding the body?

    It would be helpful if you can provide any links to reports from and since the discovery of this JD. :)

    I do see that the timing and height/weight/age seem to be consistnet with your MP.
     
  3. Cazzie

    Cazzie This is love

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    I was also wondering if fingerprints were taken from the JD, and if such were on file for your MP. (But surely that would have been checked by now)
     
  4. JasonFutchLakeCityFL

    JasonFutchLakeCityFL Well-Known Member

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    They do have the blood taken from the torso. It is on file in I believe at both the FDLE Crime Lab in Tallahassee and at The University of Texas. And most likely they did use the blood smears when they compared DNA with the missing Gainesville boy Danny Randall. However, I am not too positive they compared the blood/DNA samples with the JD and Erik. The following links I am providing is from the FDLE, Doe Network, Identifyus and CCCS on the John Doe. I am still somewhat unfamiliar with the circumstances of the MP I have pointed out as a possible match.

    http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/mcicsearch/FlyerNewPerson.asp?Case_Id=23134&case_nbr=

    http://doenetwork.org/hot/hotcase639.html

    https://identifyus.org/cases/757

    http://columbiacrimestoppers.net/unsolved.aspx

    I know there are also articles available via microfilm at Florida Gateway College in Lake City, FL and at George Smathers Library at the University of Florida-Gainesville from the Lake City Reporter. This is a very intense case that I believe should shine new light now that this case may have a potential identity to this victim, although CCSO has not been taking this much seriously (the case in general, mind you). But I think its a strong possibility that this murderer could have strewn his body all across Florida, and managed to get unlucky tossing the torso in the dumpster and hightailed it out of dodge.
     
  5. JasonFutchLakeCityFL

    JasonFutchLakeCityFL Well-Known Member

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    And also no hands were found. it was just a torso with its male sexual parts attached. Circumstances were that a woman was walking her dog around the gas station when she discovered a "mannequin-looking but realistic" torso beside the dumpster. She had alerted the gas station owner who called CCSO, knowing what the grisly finding really was. The only thing found was blood smears, the ginsu knives used to cut the hands, legs and head off, and the bathroom anti-slipping mat (sorry had a mind fart). I am sure with at least the blood discovered, there has to be a great potential of identification.

    And I am sure there is fingerprint/dental records available for the MP.
     
  6. Cazzie

    Cazzie This is love

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    Oh, that is more info, thank you! I don't have time right now to read all the links. But having the JD's DNA *seems* like it should be easy (someone must have missed this man, would be providing DNA to match, etc.) but I've read enough to know that it can be far from easy to solve cases.

    I think that part of the challenge is that many people don't know about current technologies...they may have given up on finding someone...maybe even the person doesn't have anyone left who cares...etc.. :(

    I am just a novice sleuth here. Many expert sleuths here have contacts with LE and MEs, and much experience with sleuthing in general. :) I'm sure they will be taking a look and trying to help. :)
     
  7. JasonFutchLakeCityFL

    JasonFutchLakeCityFL Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. Well right now I am a newbie as well. I am in the proces of emailing ME Mandy Moore with the local district Medical Examiners Office forwarding her the information on this case. She may forward it to LE, who knows. I am going to see what the next step is as far as forwarding this info after sending it to ME Moore.
     
  8. Cazzie

    Cazzie This is love

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    Thank you for the circumstance info about the woman.

    I thought I had editted my post after my own "brain warp" about fingerprints for the JD.

    But I wonder if they did (or are now able to take) fingerprints from the skin of the torso? And inside the gloves, etc.?

    I'm sorry...maybe some of these questions are answered in the links you've given...
     
  9. Cazzie

    Cazzie This is love

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    Looks like you're doing great work, to me. Kudos to you!

    You've come to the right place. Just be patient and you will get some great advice and assistance here.
     
  10. JasonFutchLakeCityFL

    JasonFutchLakeCityFL Well-Known Member

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    Well you know it is a possibility, but it is also another possibility that maybe some of the evidence could be missing now (like the Bundy vials that were just recently discovered at the Columbia county Courthouse "Kimberly Leach murder, different story I will not go into"). However, I know that the knives and the bath mats are still in evidence from the CCCS article I read. Skin I am sure they can as well. I am also sure when the body was fresh, they were able to get numerous plasma samples from the victim.
     
  11. Cazzie

    Cazzie This is love

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    Well, "being able to" and "actually doing it" may be 2 different things, for lots of reasons. I'm not up on standard procedures, back then or now.

    I'll read your links later...
     
  12. Duke Fan4

    Duke Fan4 New Member

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    When I saw Lake City FL I just had to peek at this thread. My mom was born in Columbia County and we made many trips down there to do family research at a small cemetary on Lake Jefferies Road. I have taken Hwy 441 up into Georgia and it can be a very spooky road at night.

    You are doing a great job with your sleuthing and I do wish you lots of luck in identifying your JD. With I-10 and I-75 crossing there in Lake City I could well have been a traveler.
     
  13. JasonFutchLakeCityFL

    JasonFutchLakeCityFL Well-Known Member

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    I believe I know which one it is. I think its called Oak Lawn, next to the Purina Plant. I believe that is also where Kimberly Leach is buried after being murdered by Ted Bundy in '78. But thanks for the comments. We should have coffee if you are ever back in the area! LOL.
     
  14. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    Was the dismemberment a "hack job" or something like someone with certain experiences would do? The guy seems like the wrong age for a domestic type murder although that couldn't be totally ruled out. I assume the body must have only been there a short time. Who last saw the area before the corpse was there?
     
  15. JasonFutchLakeCityFL

    JasonFutchLakeCityFL Well-Known Member

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    From my understanding, this was just cold blooded murder. This was not a hack job, but as you said, it can't be ruled out. I would assume, from the state of the remains, that the body was probably dumped before the shop opened around 6AM or so, being there was blood. I also question the type of murder. If this was not Erik Patchin, this could have easily been a family member that did this, being that no concerned parents emerged at this time. The Patchin and the Doe link I believe has not been compared yet. As I had said earlier, I have submitted this possible link to the district ME. I hope to hear from her soon.
     
  16. JasonFutchLakeCityFL

    JasonFutchLakeCityFL Well-Known Member

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    Also there are two distinguishing things that could sum up this find: If Erik Patchin has a mole on the left side of his chest AND if Erik was circumcised (judging from the popularity at the time of his birth, most likely he was). That is why a family member, possibly his mom or dad, should look into this case as well.
     
  17. tatertot

    tatertot Well-Known Member

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    This may or may not be important, but the flower decals suggest the body was dismembered in a home and not a motel. I can't see them being used in a motel bathtub that had to be frequently scrubbed out, and it's been a while since I've stayed in a motel, but don't most motel tubs have built-in anti-skid bottoms anyway, like a pattern of bars with a sandpaper-like texture?

    Maybe whoever was dismembering the body realized there would be blood under the stickers so he pried them up and disposed of them with the egg-crate mattress and other stuff.

    Useless pop-culture info: The flowers came in various decorating colors and were self-stick so they could be arranged on the floor of the tub, and they were textured to provide some grip so bathers wouldn't fall. I think they were a very Seventies thing.

    No guarantee these are the exact type, but here's what I'm talking about (scroll down): http://www.ebay.com/itm/1978-Rubbermaid-Bathtub-Appliques-Gold-Flowers-7090-NIP-/380351205313
     
  18. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    Unless police were holding something back, I assume there was no damage to the torso itself. I think an autopsy could also rule out suffocation, strangulation, drowning and poison as a cause of death. That would leave some sort of head trauma as the likely cause of the victim's demise. The only other possibilities I can think of (and they're extremely unlikely) are exsanguination and decapitation.
     
  19. Harmony 2

    Harmony 2 Administrator

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    Back in 1994, the area might have looked different but this gives a rough idea of the surroundings and the highways...I went to street level and went further to the other side of interstate 10 and there are a couple of gas stations on that corner as well...

    Interstate 10 and US 441 in Lake City, Florida. - Google Maps


    editted and corrected location...
     
  20. JasonFutchLakeCityFL

    JasonFutchLakeCityFL Well-Known Member

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    If you go further north just past the interstate, to your right, there is an abandoned gas station. That is the one. My friend and I did some freelance investigating up there about almost a year ago. We found it to be in very poor condition and overrun by weeds. We were also able to go inside the building, but there was nothing of importance there. However, there is alot of woods back there. I do have pictures, but I will have to see if I still have them. Otherwise I can make a trip up there and snap some. As far as the bathtub decals, I think you are right about the Rubbermaid appliques, tatortot. And from what I am assuming (being I have not seen this torso and most likely will ever being that the Dale Earnhardt, Sr. Act is in play in Florida), the torso was not damaged other than possibly scrapes from being dragged to the dumpster and obvious blood stains. What we should know about the perp is, is that he barely had any strength in him or her to get the torso in the dumpster. So...this guy was either poor in shape or was a gaunt middle/old-aged person (50-70). but going back, I think there is a quaint possibility this could be my MP, Erik Patchin. I will be making contact with the CCSO to submit this tip. But I think that the body parts were cleverly hidden somewhere along the interstate, although there was an intense search for parts along I-10 west and east bound as well as south and north bound I-75. If this was a father and son issue, then the father could have easily buried parts in his back yard. There is really no telling, especially since there was a missing person (my MP) that went missing a week or so prior in Tallahassee and fits the description of the torso neck description. As mentioned before, the torso was clearly circumcised, so the deal breaker would be: was Patchin? My assumption would be because it was a popular proceedur in the 70's and 80's, sure. But you can't rule that out because there are also possibilities that he wasn't. Also, does Patchin have the distinguished mole on his chest? These are questions I may be able to get answers to tomorrow.
     

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