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Man charged with first-degree murder in elderly couple's death in Lakeland

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Posted at 6:22 AM, Aug 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-14 06:22:52-04

LAKELAND, Fla. — Police have arrested a man accused of murdering an elderly couple Sunday morning.

Officials said Felix Molina, 42, was arrested and will be charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

Shortly after 3 a.m. on Sunday, August 9, an officer made a forced entry into a home near the 1500 block of West Highland Street.

The officer was following up on a wellness check request from a family member who had not heard from the victims in days. While inside the home, officers found two victims dead.

The victims were a 69-year-old man and a 72-year-old woman who were married and lived in the home.

Detectives said it appeared the couple had been dead for multiple days.

Officials said the victims knew Molina.

On Thursday, Investigators found a van that belonged to the two victims. The van was likely taken at the time of the murders and was driven by Molina before it was found in the Tampa area, according to investigators.

Shortly after the van was found, Molina was located in the area of Nebraska Avenue in Tampa, investigators say.

Molina was arrested and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail. He will soon be transferred to the Polk County Jail.

The Lakeland Police Department is holding a press conference on the arrest at 10 a.m. on Friday.