This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office quickly found two children over the weekend. In one case a drone spotted a missing three-year-old boy in a field within three minutes of beginning surveillance. Patrol, motor and one K-9 unit were called to the scene along with the drone unit. Late Sunday evening, another missing individual, Dawnasia Durant, 17, was found. The Sheriff’s Office credited the community with getting the word out and tips with helping find the girl.
A damp start to the week in Palatka this morning while St. Augustine is still drying out after 1.5 to 2.5 inches of rain overnight, according to the.National Weather Service. Heavy rains are expected in the three-county area this afternoon as thunderstorms move in. Rainy afternoons are in the forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday.
In Putnam County the State Attorney’s Office Friday dropped charges against a Putnam County reserve deputy arrested in June for allegedly operating a boat while under the influence. The State Attorney investigation determined no probable cause for the arrest existed. The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office announced they, too, had reviewed evidence and determined there was no probable cause for the arrest. Reserve officer Zach Prevatt was arrested June 27 by an officer with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He was immediately put on administrative leave by the Sheriff’s Office but will now be able to return to duty. In an official statement the Sheriff’s Office said: “We collectively believe this is an egregious violation committed by one rogue FWC officer who reflects poorly on their organization.” However, they noted the Sheriff’s Office and FWC had a longstanding working relationship that they were committed to ensuring remained strong.
On Thursday St. Johns County Sheriff’s deputies stopped a stolen Honda Accord out of Georgia and arrested a 33-year-old man wanted in the shooting death of a Waynesboro, Ga., woman. Bobby J. Turner was spotted on Racetrack Road around 9:30 a.m. by deputies and the man was taken into custody. He was sought in the shooting death Wednesday of a 34-year-old woman in Waynesboro.
Seven citizens turned in applications to fill two Bunnell City Commission seats left vacant by the resignation of two commissioners earlier this month. However, a new policy by Flagler County meant one of the applicants had to withdraw. County employee Nealon Joseph cited a conflict, noting the county has now passed a ruling that says its workers can’t be in elected office if their job involves interfacing with the county and making decisions that might be or give the appearance of a conflict of interest. One of the commissioners leaving is currently a county employee but the new ruling wasn’t in effect when he ran for office. Since the next election is in March, the commission decided to appoint people to fill in until then, which is allowed under the charter.
A suspect in the shooting death of a pregnant woman in West Augustine is in jail without bond on first-degree murder charges. Evins Harris was arrested Thursday by St. Johns County Sheriff’s deputies for the shooting of Shaina Armstrong. The pregnant 30-year-old was driving with her boyfriend when the shooting occurred in the area of Christopher and Herbert streets on June 16. Armstrong was the mother of two young daughters, according to family members. The Sheriff’s Office said they were able to identify Harris as a suspect after an extensive investigation.
In Palatka Pat Walker had an official drive-by birthday celebration Sunday as she sat on the front porch of her house. She was celebrating her 93rd birthday, enjoying drive-by waves and phone calls. Her son and daughter-in-law, Walt and Elizabeth Walker, organized the surprise celebration. Pat, who loves visitors, is the widow of Punk Walker, a longtime mayor of Palatka.