Clearwater PD makes arrest in cold case cab driver murder

CLEARWATER - Clearwater police on Friday announced that they have have their suspect in the 2008 cold case murder of cab driver Jack LaGrand.

Police identified 24-year-old Tisen Washington as the man who gunned down LaGrand while he was in his cab.

"A witness came forward in this case that was able to provide information that lead to the identification of our suspect Tyson Washington," said Detective Thomas Dawe with Clearwater Police.

Dawe would not elaborate on why the witness waited until now to reveal the information.

Washington is currently sitting in the Pasco County Jail on unrelated drug charges. Clearwater authorities say they hope to transfer him to the Pinellas County Jail as soon as they can to charge him with first-degree murder.

The charge would likely put him behind bars with no bond, they said.

50 year-old LaGrand's case continued on for nearly 5 years as his widow Donna waited for answers.

"After five long years, the man who committed this senseless act will be brought to justice," said Dawe, reading from a statement written by LaGrand's widow, Donna. "To all of those families facing similar circumstances, never give up hope."

Police also plastered a giant billboard off of US-19 asking for clues.

Last year, police released grainy surveillance videos that showed some of the last moments that LaGrand was seen alive.

The video shows a man police say is Washington emerging from LaGrand's taxi cab, and another video shows Washington seemingly fumbling with something in his shirt at a Dunedin restaurant.

Police say Washington was surprised to see himself in the video when they showed it to him and they say he positively identified himself as the suspect in the video.

"He made admissions to us. He identified himself as being the one in that video. He identified himself as wearing that shirt," Dawe said.

Clearwater police say Washington was also arrested 30 days before the murder took place with a firearm that was confiscated.

How he got the weapon later identified as the gun used in LaGrand's murder, they don't know.

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