Historic City News editor Michael Gold traveled to the Flagler County Detention Facility this afternoon to witness the return of the man investigators say fired the three shots from a SKKY 9mm Luger semi-automatic pistol that killed a Palm Coast convenience store clerk for no apparent reason.
On the lamb for the past seven months, 25-year-old Joseph Frank Bova II had stymied investigators in Flagler County, and with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, as to his identity and whereabouts. That all changed during the past seven days. Historic City News was notified around 12:30 p.m. that the transport team had departed from Palm Beach County with Bova in custody; and, again about 3:00 as they crossed back into Flagler County.
“Mr. Bova will be processed into our facility this afternoon and arraigned on murder charges tomorrow by video appearance,” Commander Bob Weber told Historic City News. “There have been a lot of theories, I know this has upset the community, but, the truth is, we still cannot find a motive for this killing.”
When detectives located Bova, they found that he was living in his car; a 2007 Audi. He had traveled to the vicinity of Boca Raton after leaving Palm Coast. Officers served a search warrant that led to the discovery of items of clothing that appear to match those worn by the shooter in the surveillance video — and they found the pistol identified as the handgun that fired the three lethal shots.
“This is still an active investigation,” Weber said. “We believe Bova acted alone in committing this crime, but we are still looking for his motive to commit the murder; which may lead us to other persons — at this moment, we just don’t know.”
The two-vehicle convoy was taking no chances in transporting their prisoner over the course of their three-hour journey. Two heavily armed deputies, wearing bullet proof vests, battle dress uniforms, and carrying tactical weaponry, were inside the marked patrol car with Bova throughout the trip to Bunnell. A K-9 deputy shadowed the car in an extended cab pickup truck.
When they arrived at the detention facility, both vehicles pulled under the Sally Port and the chain-link gates were closed behind them. A high-power tactical rifle and other weapons were stored in the trunk of the transport vehicle as deputies from inside the jail prepared to receive the inmate. The driver-side passenger door opened and one deputy took Bova by the arm while the other followed as they walked to the door of the booking area. The K-9 officer held a position in the corner of the completely fenced-in area in the event of trouble.
Bova was wearing a pair of black flip-flops and black, knee-length shorts; exposing his ankles which were shackled together with leg irons. He was restrained in handcuffs, but not behind his back. He was wearing a black Under Armor tee shirt. He did not speak as deputies assisted him out of the back of the sedan. His eyes stayed wide open and focused straight ahead — he did not face, gesture to, or acknowledge any of the journalists or television cameramen who had assembled from as far away as Jacksonville, Daytona Beach and Orlando to record the event.
Weber told reporters that the agency posted on their facebook a video of a man they say is Bova, as he used the ATM inside the convenience store of the Mobil Station on the night of the murder.