• Latest: Jacksonville Beach man arrested for 1994 murder of 16-year-old to face judge

    By: Brittney Donovan , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    UPDATE: (11:53 p.m.): Action News Jax has obtained the arrest warrant for Ronnie Leon Hyde of Jacksonville Beach, who is charged with the 1994 murder of Nassau County 16-year-old Fred Laster.

    The nine-page arrest warrant for 60-year-old Hyde spells out more than 20 years of investigation and his arrest for Laster's murder.


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    The documents reveal that a bloody flannel shirt, blood-stained knives, a blood-soaked mattress cover and bathtub non-slip safety pads were recovered at the Columbia County gas station where Laster’s dismembered torso was found in June 1994.
     
    Records show Laster’s sister reported him missing in 1995. She said her brother was last seen with family friend Ronnie Hyde, and Hyde kept changing his story about the last time he saw Laster. Records show Hyde was a youth pastor in the 80s.
    It wasn’t until February 2016 until Laster’s torso was identified. The warrant said this happened by matching his DNA with his twin sister's DNA after an online article about the cold case by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children drew her in.
     
    Then, last year in April, investigators took garbage left outside Hyde’s Jacksonville Beach home.
    From that garbage, investigators were able to match Hyde’s DNA found on nasal swabs to the flannel shirt found with the body in 1994.
     
    The warrant also shows detectives proved Hyde drove a Chevy Camaro matching the description of the vehicle seen by an eyewitness at the crime scene in 1994.

    READ HYDE'S FULL ARREST AFFIDAVIT

    UPDATE: (4:18 p.m.): The Florida Department of Corrections confirmed that Hyde works for the DOC's health services contractor. Here is the full statement from the DOC:

    Ronnie Hyde is currently employed by Centurion, the Florida Department of Corrections health services contractor. The Department’s Office of Inspector General is cooperating fully with the FBI, and will deploy any available resource needed to ensure this individual is held accountable. Both FDC and its contractors have zero tolerance for criminal activity and will ensure that Mr. Hyde will have no further contact with inmates.
    For further information on Hyde’s current employment status, you will need to contact Centurion."

    UPDATE: (3:57 p.m.): Police release latest mugshot of Hyde, who is being held in the Duval County Jail.

    UPDATE: (3:49 p.m.): The FBI's field office in Jacksonville is asking for more information about Ronnie Leon Hyde, who has been charged with the 1994 murder of Nassau County 16-year-old Fred Laster.

    CLICK HERE TO VIEW PDF OF THE FLIER FROM THE FBI

    UPDATE: (2:01 p.m.): A Jacksonville Beach man is charged with the murder of a 16-year-old whose body was found behind a dumpster in Columbia County in 1994.

    Deputies found the victim, who was missing his head, hands and legs, at a gas station on US 441 and I-10 in June 1994.


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    A medical examiner was not able to identify the person during an autopsy but determined that the body belonged to a man between 16-19 years old.

    The case was reassigned to a new detective in 2012 and CCSO detectives spoke with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2013.

    A flyer was drafted and posted to the NCMEC site in 2014.

    Family members of a missing Jacksonville teen contacted police in September 2015. They told deputies 16-year-old Fred Laster went missing in 1994 and gave DNA samples that were sent to a lab.

    In Feb. 2016, investigators confirmed a link between the family's DNA and the body found at the Columbia County gas station.

    The boy's identity was withheld as detectives continued their investigation. The investigation led them to 60-year-old Ronnie L. Hyde.

    FBI agents raided Hyde's home on Tuesday. He was arrested at 6:30 a.m.

    Detectives said Hyde knew Laster through social connections but it is unclear what their relationship entailed.

    They believe Hyde may have had more victims. They said Hyde had access to other children through his work with a local church, and they believe he spent most of his time in Jacksonville.

    They are asking anyone with information about Hyde's past or other potential victims to call 904-248-7000.

    UPDATE: (12:01 p.m.): Columbia County deputies are planning a 2 p.m. press conference to give background about the case. 

    State Attorney Melissa Nelson and FBI Special Agent in Charge Charles Spencer are expected to speak at the press conference near the Lake City Airport.

    Watch the press conference live on Action News Jax's Facebook page and follow @ActionNewsJax on Twitter for the latest information.

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    Deputies announced they made an arrest in a 23-year-old homicide case after FBI agents searched a Jacksonville Beach home on Tuesday.

    An FBI spokesperson confirmed the search at a home on 4th Avenue North in Jacksonville Beach is connected to the arrest in the cold case.

    According to the city property appraiser's website, the home belongs to Ronnie L. Hyde.

    Columbia County deputies confirm that Hyde has been arrested.


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    Action News Jax reporter Kaitlyn Chana is outside Hyde's home on 4th Avenue North and 9th Street, where FBI agents are executing the search warrant.

    An FBI spokesperson said investigators are expected to be at the home throughout the day. Jacksonville Beach police are also on scene.

    Officials have not given much information about the search but are expected to give an update.

    They said people in the area are not in danger.

    Follow @ActionNewsJax on Twitter and watch CBS47 Action News Jax at 5 for the latest information.

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