Historic City News has received confirmation through the Office of Chief Medical Examiner Predrag Bulic, M.D., that the remains recovered from the burning SUV last week were indeed victims of homicide.
Although the two murders occurred at a location within the jurisdiction of the St Augustine Police Department, the unaccredited municipal department went into an “information shutdown” as they have done in the past; leaving a frightened neighborhood struggling for even the slightest explanation for the incident that left two young men dead. Realizing their limitations, police brought in the assistance of the St Johns County Sheriff’s Office; an accredited agency with more expertise, resources, and better equipped to reach a successful conclusion in the investigation.
“Last Wednesday, shortly before 1:00 a.m., at the intersection of Fred Waters Way and Spring Street inside the city limits of St Augustine, two bodies were recovered from inside a burning vehicle,” Public Information Officer Kevin Kelshaw reported from the St Johns County Sheriff’s Office. “We can confirm the findings of the medical examiner who has ruled the manner of the two deaths as homicide, the cause of death was gunshot and arson.”
Even though family members have been making funeral arrangements and commenting in local media encounters, City Police spokesman Mark Samson refused to acknowledge the names and ages of the two victims for a week.
Kelshaw, on the other hand, has provided Historic City News and other local media sources with official confirmation of those identities.
“Through DNA evidence processed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement laboratory, the District 23 Medical Examiner, has positively identified the remains as those of 27-year-old Charles Ray “Juvie” Durden of Fleming Island, and 26-year-old Steffon Demarius “Steff” Larry, who lived on Rollins Avenue in St Augustine.”
According to Kelshaw, the Durden family has requested that the media is aware that funeral arrangements are confirmed for Saturday, November 26, 2016, at 1:00 p.m. at St. Paul AME Church, located at 85 M.L. King Street, in St Augustine.
Anyone with any information concerning this investigation is asked to contact SJSO Major Crimes Unit Detective, Samantha English, who can be reached at 904-687-8978, or St Augustine police corporal, Michal Ochkie, at 904-392-6123. Or, you can remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a cash reward of up to $5,000 by calling Crimestoppers of Northeast Florida at (888) 277-TIPS.