A “cold-blooded” Florida man killed a sleeping couple, dumped their bodies in a swamp and enlisted his stepdaughter to help cover up the crime, authorities said.
Todd Jackson, 34, was busted Saturday for allegedly breaking into the Haines City home of husband and wife Raymond Cline, 33, and Crystal Ann Cline, 37, and shooting them in the head as they slept about two weeks ago, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said.
Police only got word of the crime last week when tipsters reported that Amberlyn Nichols, 19 — who later told authorities she was Jackson’s stepdaughter — was trying to sell Raymond Cline’s truck for only $200, claiming he no longer needed it, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told reporters prior to the arrest.
“Well, do you know why the owner didn’t need the truck any longer?” Judd asked reporters. “Because he was dead. He was murdered. And she was actually telling people that the victim had been shot in the head and was dead and they needed to get rid of his truck.”
Nichols confessed that she knew all about the crime — and led investigators to both bodies, which were decomposing in the swampy woods behind the couple’s home, Judd said.
After the murders, Jackson, along with Nichols’ boyfriend, Larry Waters, also 19, removed an air conditioner from the couple’s bedroom window, put the couple’s bodies on a furniture dolly and dragged them out into the swamp, according to Judd.
Nichols claimed her stepfather was angry because Raymond Cline, an acquaintance, owed him $30,000, the sheriff said.
Raymond Cline regularly scrapped metal up until Feb. 21, authorities said. Both he and his wife had not been seen since then, and family members were unable to reach them by phone.
Jackson was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, and Nichols and Waters were each charged with one count of accessory after the fact and two counts of failure to report a death, cops said. Nichols also faces a charge for dealing in stolen property — the truck.
Nichols admitted to deputies that she normally sleeps in a tent in Saddle Creek Park but had been sporadically staying in the Clines’ home since the murders.
With Post wires
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