From the Tampa Bay Times, for one family their grief at losing their daughter may be tempered now that the suspect was captured in Louisiana...
Shortly after Pinellas deputies discovered a womandead inside a hotel room last week, detectives zeroed in on a suspect, the Gulfport woman's on-again, off-again boyfriend.
Shortly thereafter, St. Petersburg police officers found a man with a gunshot wound to his head Monday at a notorious apartment complex, they too developed a suspect: the boyfriend of the first victim, who was fighting with the man over the girl.
Now the suspect, a 25-year-old who often stays in hotels around St. Petersburg, was being sought by the county's two largest law enforcement agencies.
Authorities had secured warrants charging the suspect with murder and attempted murder. Later Tuesday, the male victim died at the hospital after his family removed him from life support, a hospital spokeswoman said.
The suspect was now facing two murder charges.
"He's a bad guy," the Pinellas Sheriff said Tuesday afternoon during a news conference with the St. Petersburg police Chief . "He needs to get off the streets of St. Petersburg and Pinellas County before he kills someone else."
The police said they have reason to be concerned. They are certain the suspect, who has a long criminal record, knows police are looking for him. They also don't know who else could be a target.
"He's made statements that he's not going to prison," a police spokeman said.
It was unclear Tuesday how long the suspect and female victim dated. What is clear is that during one of the defendants' stints behind bars last year, the young woman turned her romantic interest elsewhere — to the male victim.
"There were many issues between them because of this triangle relationship," a police officer said, adding that things seemed to escalate in the past several months.
It appeared the female, a home health aide who was pursuing a nursing degree, continued to see both men.
In early December, the suspect and the girl spent a night in a hotel together.
But a day after Christmas, the female was sitting at an intersection in Pinellas Park when another vehicle rammed the back of her car, causing her to spin out, according to a police report. Witnesses identified the man as the suspect. Officers referred aggravated battery charges against Jenkins to the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office, Pinellas Park police said Tuesday.
On Jan. 6, the sheriff said, the doomed lovers had a "verbal altercation" at a park in St. Petersburg.
Early the next morning, the female checked into a hotelroom.
The suspect joined her but left exactly 30 minutes later. He was shirtless, and he was driving a Chrysler she had rented.
Hotel staff members discovered the young woman's body inside the room nearly 12 hours later, having been shot in the head with a small-caliber gun.
"This was targeted," "It was an execution-style killing."
Gualtieri said detectives quickly zeroed in on the suspect. They reached out to St. Petersburg police because of his ties to the city.
They also interviewed the other man several times.
Detectives could tell via cellphone records that the suspect traveled to the Orlando area in the rental. They believed that once there, he switched tags with a car that was the same make and model but was gray instead of silver.
But authorities never publicly released the name of their murder suspect saying that was a tactical decision.
"We were tracking him. We thought we were pretty close to him," the sheriff said. "We weren't close enough though."
Authorities now believe the suspect slipped back into St. Petersburg, where he has family, and went after the second victim on Monday.
St. Petersburg police said the 31-year-old was visiting an apartment complex when someone came up to him and shot him in the head about 12:30 p.m. A security guard was shot and killed at the same complex in May 2011.
Police said a small-caliber gun was used in Monday's shooting as well. No gun has been recovered in either incident.
The suspect, who evaded authorities for a month while on the run from two murder charges, was captured late last week in Louisiana.
Members of a U.S. Marshals fugitive task force arrested the man at an apartment Friday afternoon near New Orleans, authorities said.
The 25-year-old is accused in the January slayings of his ex-girlfriend and a man she was dating. The suspect had been the subject of a high-profile manhunt, with both the St. Petersburg Police Department and Pinellas County Sheriff's Office looking for him.
"What's really important is that this guy — this killer — is off the street," the Pinellas County Sheriff said at an evening news conference. "We said we would get him, and we did."
Even though authorities had offered a $50,000 reward for his capture, his arrest was the result of detective work, the sheriff said.
The trail of investigative leads that culminated with the fugitive's arrest began earlier this week, when investigators identified a cellphone number that they believed belonged to the man. They requested records of every number that had been dialed from that cell phone and linked each number with an address, police said.
Fugitive task force members then went to each address, showed the suspect's picture and asked if anyone had seen him.
In LA, multiple people said the suspect was there. They saw him regularly, sitting on the front porch of an apartment. The marshals then went to the apartment complex and arrested him without incident.
Police notified relatives of the two deceased, whom the man is accused of killing, after he was taken into custody, said the St. Petersburg police. It was welcome news for both families, he said.
The deceased, a 24-year-old nursing student from Gulfport, was found dead Jan. 7 in a hotel room in Lealman. She had been shot in the back of the head.
Detectives immediately suspected the defendant, who was described as the dead's on-again, off-again boyfriend. When the suspect, who has a lengthy criminal record, served a brief stint in jail last year, the female began to date another man, 31, authorities said. After the defendant was released, she apparently continued to see both men.
Things between the three became heated in recent months. The day after Christmas, the suspect was alleged to have rammed a car into the back of her car while she was sitting at an intersection in Pinellas Park, police said. That netted him an aggravated battery charge.
On Jan. 6, he and the male deceased had a "verbal altercation" in a St. Petersburg park, authorities said. The lady was killed the next day. Afterward, the suspect drove to Orlando in a Chrysler, which the female had rented shortly before her death, authorities said. Once there, he replaced the car's tag with one taken from another car.
A week later, he returned to St. Petersburg and shot the man outside an apartment complex, police said. Detectives believe the suspect was concerned that the man was cooperating with authorities in the aggravated battery case which was part of the motive for the killing.
After the man was killed, the suspect stayed at hotels along U.S. 19 and frequented strip clubs, police said. Investigators believe he left the area after the murders were publicized in a Jan. 15 news conference.
He seemed surprised when he was arrested, the sheriff said. It was unclear how long the suspect had been in Louisiana or if anyone helped him remain at large.
On Friday night, detectives were traveling to Louisiana to interview him. He will be held there pending extradition to Pinellas County.