Ronnie Hyde may have tried offering counseling services to local murder victim's mother

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Ronnie Hyde, 60, made his first court appearance Wednesday before a Duval County judge for the 1994 murder of Nassau County teen Fred Laster.

After his arrest was announced Tuesday, Action News Jax reached out to Darlene Farah after seeing she was listed as his Facebook friend.

“I accepted every friend request. He happened to be one of the ones that reached out,” said Farah.

Farah said she later realized someone named Ron Hyde sent her several private messages.

“He wanted to counsel all of us. That was the first message,” said Farah. “He mentioned like two, three times he could help me with my son.”

Farah and her family were often featured on Action News Jax talking about her daughter Shelby Farah’s 2013 murder case.

“All of them except for two messages was on dates that we had court. It was the same date,” said Farah.

According to Hyde’s arrest warrant, Laster’s sister told police, “Ron always wanted to take up his time with young male boys with problems.”

Farah said in hindsight, she doesn’t believe his motives were genuine.

“I can’t help but think he was trying to target my son. My son was 16 years old when Shelby got killed,” said Farah.

Farah didn’t want to come forward at first, but agreed to speak with Action News Jax to encourage others to speak up.

“When you go through a tragedy like this and people reach out to you, don’t trust everybody. I’m thankful I didn’t even respond back to him,” said Farah.

Farah said she called the FBI to let them know about the messages.

If you know someone who may have had contact with Hyde, you’re asked to call the FBI at 904-248-7000.