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2 brothers wanted in connection to body found in Lake Wales orange grove arrested

Posted at 6:18 PM, Nov 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 17:21:53-05

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — The Polk County Sheriff's Office says they have arrested the two brothers who were in connection to the body found in Lake Wales orange grove.

The sheriff's office said the brothers were found thanks to a tip on their location.

RELATED: 'Brutally murdered' 21-year-old found in Lake Wales orange grove, authorities ask for tips

According to the Flagler County Sheriff's Office, a deputy conducted a traffic stop on a reported missing person's vehicle on Nov. 6.

The driver of the vehicle, 19-year-old Jo Lobato, ran from the scene. The passenger, 18-year-old Angel Lobato, stayed in the car but refused to speak to the deputy.

At the time of the stop, the vehicle was not reported stolen and the whereabouts of the missing person was not known.

Officials later found out the vehicle was registered to 21-year-old Danne Frazier, who was reported missing on Nov. 4 and later found dead.

At the time, the investigation from the FCSO said they did not find probable cause to charge Angel with any crimes and Jojo was not located.

FCSO later found out while working with the Lakeland Police Department that Frazier's body was found in Lake Wales.

Crime Scene Investigators processed the car, and several spots of blood were found inside and outside.

The glass on the driver's side was cracked from inside, authorities say. More blood and some of the victim's clothing was located inside the trunk.

PCSO detectives developed probable cause to arrest the Lobato brothers in the theft of Frazier's car, among other related crimes. They obtained warrants for the Lobatos' arrests.

Frazier's body was found in an orange grove by a man who was hired to survey the property.

An autopsy was performed on Friday, and showed Frazier had a skull fracture, and a broken piece of knife blade in his neck.

On November 14, PCSO received an anonymous tip that the Lobato brothers were inside a truck parked at an auto parts store on SR 60 in Lake Wales.

After their arrests, they confessed to a coordinated and planned attack which included robbing and then killing Frazier, deputies say.

Jo said he began communicating with the Frazier on social media about a month before the murder.

Jo and Angel told deputies they were trying to get money or a vehicle because of their homelessness and financial status. Angel reportedly said they planned to rob and kill the victim, and in doing so, would earn their "stripes" in the streets.

Angel stated he told Jo to continue speaking with the victim via social media and pretend to want a relationship.

Jo said he kept talking to Frazier and they planned to meet up after the victim got off work.

Jo said he arranged to meet Frazier in the Central Park area located in Winter Haven. Once he was on his way, Angel reportedly armed himself with a metal bat and hid at the spot.

Jo was supposed to distract the victim when they were parked by wanting to kiss and then stab the victim, the brothers told deputies.

Jo told officials he attempted to distract the victim and choke him but he and Frazier began to fight and Frazier attempted to use a stun gun on him.

Angel tried to get into the vehicle when they were struggling but couldn't because the doors were locked. At that time, Angel hit the driver's window with the metal bat causing the damage.

Jo said he unlocked the car doors and pushed Frazier out of the vehicle.

According to their confession, Angel struck the victim in the back of the head numerous times with the bat.

The brothers then put Frazier into the back of the vehicle and they drove to the area of Lake Wales to dump the body.

While they were driving, Angel leaned into the backseat and cut the victim's neck with the knife Jo had been armed with.

Once they arrived in a wooded area, they said they dumped Frazier's body and covered it with sticks and grass so he wouldn't be seen.

Both Lobato brothers were arrested, and are currently charged with:

  • First-degree murder (FC) (no bond)
  • Armed robbery (FL) (no bond)
  • Conspiracy to commit first-degree murder (F1) (no bond)
  • Accessory after the fact of a capital felony (F1) ($30,000 bond)
  • Giving false information during a capital investigation (F3) ($5,000 bond)
  • Grand theft of a motor vehicle (F3) ($5,000 bond)
  • Two counts tampering with evidence (F3) ($5,000 bond each)
  • Burglary of a vehicle (F3) ($5,000 bond)

Deputies also said Scott Engle, 19, was an accomplice in the crime. Engle was seen on surveillance video using Frazier's credit cards. Engle told detectives that they drove around attempting to withdraw money from ATM machines with the victim's cards. He said the brothers told him it was a rental car. All of those financial transactions were recorded and logged as part of the investigation. Engle's description of transactions matches each one, detectives say.

Engle told detectives he saw blood inside the car, and noticed the back seats were wet. Engle is seen on video surveillance washing the car at a self-serve car wash, according to authorities.

  • Accessory after the fact of a capital felony (F1) ($50,000 bond)
  • Tampering with evidence (F3) ($15,000 bond)
  • Grand theft of a motor vehicle (F3) ($1,000 bond)
  • Two counts criminal use of personal ID (F3) ($1,000 bond each)
  • Possession of a stolen credit card (M2) ($1,000 bond)