Family members of Tayten and Robert Baker, 14 and 12, who were killed in a Melrose double murder on Wednesday, are reacting to the arrest of Mark Wilson Jr. Wilson is charged with two counts of first-degree premeditated murder.
Relatives tell Action News Jax, Wilson and his girlfriend, who is the boys’ aunt, were living on the property with the boys’ family. The boys and their parents moved into the Shiloh Road home from Lakeland, FL a few weeks before the killings.
Putnam County Sheriff, Gator Deloach, said Wilson and the boys’ aunt were living in a shed. Family describes the area where the two were living as a renovated addition to the home.
Today the victims’ cousin, Angeline Cocco, spoke to Action News Jax by phone.
“We are beyond overjoyed. Honestly, we all suspected him from the get-go. Every one of us,” said Cocco.
She tells us the boys’ parents allowed Wilson and his girlfriend to stay there because the couple’s expecting a second child together.
“He’s pretty much part of the family,” said Cocco. “He has lived on and off, for years, in Lakeland with the family.”
Cocco says the family feels betrayed.
“It was horrific, like, horrific. You can’t imagine the crime scene. I did not see it, but I’ve heard enough details to visually see it mentally,” she said.
Cocco tells us she was with family late Thursday night when they got a call from the boys’ aunt, Wilson’s girlfriend.
“On the phone screaming, ‘Help, help, help, Mark confessed! Mark did it and he’s with his mom!’” she said.
Cocco says she and the victims’ mother then drove to the Wilson family home in Interlachen. She says law enforcement officers were already on scene.
“They were already on scene. They were perfect. They were talking with my cousin when we arrived,” she said. “… And as we’re going home, we see him on the ground, handcuffed, and I see the mom crying.”
Deloach did not confirm whether Wilson confessed, but did say he was arrested after an interview on Thursday night.
State attorney of the 7th circuit, R.J. Larizza, said the death penalty will be considered.
“I’ve been in the criminal justice system working since 1980, and these are some of the most brutal murders that I’ve ever heard about,” said Larizza.
Investigators say they have since recovered the murder weapons, a knife and a hammer. So far, no motive has been announced.
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