Shot to death and then set on fire. That was the scene detectives responded to on Nov. 16, 2016, in the small neighborhood of West Augustine.
The torched Dodge Journey looked like something out of a war zone.
St. Augustine police department Cpl. Michal Ochkie was one of the to first arrive.
“Fire rescue came, put out the fire and that’s when it was discovered that two bodies were inside,” said Ochkie.
It was one of St. Augustine's most heinous crimes. Charles Durden & Staffon Larry were found shot to death, their bodies were then burned. Nearly 2 yrs later the case remains open. At 5:45 @ActionNewsJax, hear about the challenges facing detectives #coldcase @projectcoldcase pic.twitter.com/A5hnykhNoL— Lorena Inclán (@LorenaANjax) July 11, 2018
The bodies belonged to 27-year-old Charles Durden and 26-year-old Staffon Larry.
The case is still active but the leads are starting to slow down.
Det. Cpl. Samantha English of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is also working the case, alongside Ochkie.
She called the suspect or suspects “cold and calculating” and “trying to definitely cover their tracks.”
For nearly two years, the case has haunted investigators.
“This is St. Augustine you hear that kind of stuff on the news for Jacksonville and other major cities,” said Ochkie.
The corner of Spring Street and Fred Waters Way is where Annette Durden and her family go to mourn her son Charles, who went by “Juvi.”
His body was so badly burned, Durden only has his ashes.
“They took the privilege away from me [of] laying my child’s body to rest, I didn’t get to do that,” said Durden.
The marker at the corner where the torched SUV was found was placed there by the Sheriff’s Office. It includes a summary of the case to help generate leads.
But detectives are running into a big problem because people are not speaking up, despite there being a reward of up to $5,000 on the case.
“Somebody, more than one I believe, knows what happened to Charles and Staffon and how they can go to sleep at night knowing that -- whether they were involved or not -- it blows my mind,” said English.
Durden often thinks about whether she may know the killer and not realize it.
“Did I speak to my son’s killer at the vigil? Did my son’s killer come around to my house put their arms around me? For support?” asked Durden.
She now leans on her husband and her sister for support and holds onto a photo of her son for strength.
“When I look at this poster and I look at the position his arm is in and I look at it and I feel like he’s telling me 'be strong, be strong momma',” said Durden.
Over almost two years Ochkie and English have gone over every detail in the case and spoken to countless people, but there’s still a missing link.
For them, solving one of the most heinous crimes to ever hit St. Augustine would mean putting the public’s mind at ease but most of all it would mean giving the families closure.
“To be able to tell them like 'we have ‘em' but not only do we have ‘em but we have enough to make them pay for what they did,” said Ochkie.
If you know anything about this case that could help detectives make an arrest, call CrimeStoppers at 1-888-277-TIPS (8477).
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