SUMMERFIELD, Fla. – A 15-year-old boy was lured to a rural central Florida home Sunday night, where he was fatally beaten and shot by members of a group of teens and adults before his body was burned in a fire pit, authorities said Wednesday.
Marion County Sheriff's investigators on Tuesday night arrested six people, who range in age from 15 to 37, in connection with Seath Tyler Jackson's death. Authorities said Jackson was lured to the house by a text message.
Five were charged with first-degree murder and a 37-year-old man, the stepfather of two of the juvenile suspects, is charged with being an accessory after the fact, according to an arrest affidavit filed by the Marion County sheriff's office.
Wednesday morning, deputies were searching for Jackson's remains and the murder weapon, identified as a .22-caliber revolver.
Jackson's parents reported him missing Monday.
On Tuesday, a woman told deputies her 16-year-old son had witnessed Jackson's murder in a house in Summerfield, near Ocala.
Authorities said the 16-year-old, who is not being identified by The Associated Press because of his age, told investigators the group plotted the murder because 18-year-old Michael Bargo hated Jackson. The plan called for a 15-year-old girl and Charlie Kay Ely, 18, to lure Jackson to the home by a text message, authorities said.
Once Jackson arrived at the house, authorities allege, the 16-year-old and Bargo began hitting him in the head with wooden objects.
According to the sheriff's office, Bargo then shot Jackson several times. When Jackson tried to escape, Justin Soto, 20, held him down while Bargo continued to shoot him, authorities said. Then, according to the report, Bargo broke the teen's knees and group members hog-tied him and put his body in a sleeping bag, which was placed in a fire pit in the back yard and burned.
Afterward, the sheriff's office said, the suspects used bleach to clean the house and shoveled Jackson's remains into 5-gallon paint cans.
Deputies say a stepfather of the 16-year-old boy and 15-year-old girl was aware of the plot. Authorities said James Young Havens III, 37, told investigators he helped Bargo and Soto get rid of the remains and other evidence. He was being held on $10,000 bond and faces a charge of accessory after the fact of first-degree murder.
Phone messages were left Wednesday by the AP at listings for Havens, Soto and Bargo in Summerfield. A phone number listed for the victim's parents was not in service.
Authorities did not immediately release a motive for the killing, but said there was an ongoing feud between Bargo and the victim, who had had a relationship with the 15-year-old girl.
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