Clay County

‘They’re good people’: Neighbors speak out about elderly couple held captive in Clay home for 2 days

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. — A Clay County man is in jail after police said he called 911 to confess to tying up an elderly couple in their Green Cove Springs home for two days.

“Their house has always got the lights and stuff on. They haven’t had them on the last couple days, but there’s been vehicles. So, we assumed it was the normal,” Bobbie Jo Strickland said. She lives next door with her husband Lonnie.

RELATED STORY: ‘We’re not going to tolerate it:’ Deputies investigating why 2 were tied up in Clay home for days

“They’re good people. Quiet,” he said. The couple is in their early 70s.

Deputies said the suspect, Aubrey Lumpkin, called 911 Monday night. He was arrested on an outstanding drug warrant and home invasion.

Neighbors told Action News Jax’s Robert Grant that they’ve seen him on the property several times before. Deputies could not confirm the motive as of Tuesday afternoon, but said they are working to learn more about the relationship between Lumpkin and the victims.

Sheriff Michelle Cook said the two victims were taken to a hospital to be assessed and treated.

“They’re obviously very traumatized, but they’re being as helpful as they can right now,” Cook said.

Cook said they believe the suspect was with the victims during the time they were tied up. However, Cook said they don’t know at this point if Lumpkin took care of the two seniors, or the extent of the victims’ injuries.

Action News Jax law and safety expert Dale Carson said there are several possibilities as to what really happened.

“One possibility here is that this is an effort by a drugger to take over a place where he knows there to be drugs,” Carson said.

RELATED STORY: ‘They’re obviously very traumatized’: Man calls 911 to confess holding couple inside home for days

The scene has been processed for more than 24 hours. While deputies said Lumpkin confessed to the crime, Carson said they have to verify that. It appears there are two homes taped off, which Carson said will take time to process.

Meanwhile, neighbors are looking for answers about a crime they said took place in an otherwise quiet area.

“We’re kind of hoping for more answers, also just see what else, hopefully, nothing else, is going on,” neighbor Sarah Sheppard said.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office asks anyone with information on the suspect or victims to call in.

Comments on this article