Tuesday, September 17, 2013

U.S. Marshals Task Force Captures Murder Suspect

Gainesville, FL - The U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force (FRFTF) apprehended Larry Whitehead Jr. Sunday morning in Hampton, Virginia after a two month investigation that spanned three separate states. Whitehead was wanted on an outstanding Alachua County arrest warrant charging him with first-degree murder, armed burglary, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon which was issued after Whitehead was identified by Gainesville Police as the person responsible for the shooting death of a man at Southern Pines Apartments in southwest Gainesville on 7/14/2013. Whitehead fled from the scene after the murder leaving his whereabouts unknown.

The search for Whitehead was immediately submitted to the FRFTF by Task Force members at the Gainesville Police Department and the Alachua County Sheriff's Office and shortly after was deemed a Major Case investigation by the U.S. Marshals Service, making Whitehead's capture a high priority. Using the U.S. Marshals' nationwide network of fugitive investigators, FRFTF members in Gainesville directed the investigation to Virginia, New York and then back to Virginia where Whitehead was ultimately captured this morning at a house in Hampton.

During the course of the investigation, FRFTF members in Gainesville worked with Task Force members from the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force in Virginia and the New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force in New York and developed information which caused the search to extend to Long Island, New York. Last week, U.S. Marshals confirmed Whitehead was in New York after locating an air mattress and clothes belonging to Whitehead in an attic of a house where Whitehead had been hiding. Task Force members in Gainesville suspected Whitehead would attempt to return to Virginia and began focusing on key locations there as well as various modes of transportation between New York and Virginia including buses.

This morning, Task Force members in Gainesville developed information that Whitehead had returned to Virginia late last night and was now possibly hiding at a house in Hampton. Task Force members in Gainesville immediately began coordinating with Task Force members in Virginia who initiated surveillance at this house. Task Force members located Whitehead inside the house a short time later and placed him under arrest. Whitehead was booked into the Hampton City Jail with no bond.

U.S. Marshal Ed Spooner of the Northern District of Florida stated that the arrest of Larry Whitehead highlights the great cooperation between the U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force and local law enforcement agencies, including the Gainesville Police Department and the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, to track down and apprehend fugitives wanted for violent crimes. U.S. Marshal Spooner also noted the outstanding work by the three Task Forces in Florida, Virginia, and New York.

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