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3 arrested for the murder of man whose body was found in Polk County orange grove

Posted at 11:01 AM, Feb 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-19 18:13:30-05

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — The Polk County Sheriff's Office has arrested three suspects for the murder of Douglas John Bowling, whose body was found one week ago today. 

Deputies say the body of 47-year-old Douglas J. Bowling was found on Monday, February 19, near an orange grove, south of Ft. Meade.

He was known to frequent the Winter Haven area. Acquaintances told detectives he was homeless.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office says that three suspects have been arrested in connection with the homicide.

Christopher Taylor, 30, of Winter Haven has been arrested for First Degree Murder in the death of Douglas John Bowling, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Taylor's brother, Gary, has been arrested for Accessory after the Fact and Tampering with Evidence. Kristina Sluss, who lived with Christopher Taylor, has been arrested for Accessory after the Fact and Tampering with Evidence.

According to Grady Judd, Bowling knew the suspects; the sheriff said Bowling and Taylor would go to the bank together. According to the sheriff, they would get debit cards, and rip off banks.

The sheriff said the victim wanted to go to the bank on Feb. 10, repeatedly asked, and that set him off. Taylor is accused of beating Bowling with two skillets and an aluminum bat. Sheriff Judd said Taylor beat the victim for nearly two hours and would not let him go even with the victim begging him to stop.

The sheriff said their intention was to get rid of the victim's body outside of Polk County. They googled Bowling Green.
According to the sheriff, they placed his body in garbage bags and drove him to an orange grove south of Ft. Meade.
"They made a tactical error. They dumped him in Polk County," Sheriff Judd said.
Sheriff Judd said the suspects may be involved in other murders across the country. He would not elaborate.
"He {Gary} makes the statement another one bites the dust. We suspect them of committing more murders in the United States and we’re not saying anymore now," Sheriff Judd said.