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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Missing Lyft Driver Found Dead in Florida; Car Found in North Carolina

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A 74-year-old Florida Lyft driver who disappeared after taking a fare from Delray Beach to Okeechobee has been found dead, his daughter says.

Gary Levin was last heard from on January 30, as CrimeOnline previously reported. Florida officials said remains were found on Saturday near the Okeechobee County Agri-Civic Center, just two miles from where his cell phone last pinged. The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office said state officials had identified the remains, but they did not immediately release the identity. WTVJ said.

“At this time my family and I are asking for privacy so we can process the unfortunate information we have received,” Levin’s daughter, Lindsay DiBetta, wrote on Facebook. “My dad was truly a one of kind person, if you knew him or even met him once you know exactly what I mean when I say that. The stories I have received about him from friends, family and complete strangers over the last week have lifted me up more than you can ever realize. We will be announcing information on services in my father’s honor in the next few days.”

Investigators had traced Levin’s red Kia Stinger from Miami to Okeechobee and then to north Florida before North Carolina officials spotted it on February 2. Police there chased the vehicle through three counties, Rutherford County Sheriff Aaron Ellenburg said, before the driver crashed and he was taken into custody.

The driver was identified as Matthew Flores, who was wanted on a murder warrant for the shooting death on January 24 of Jose Carlos Martinez in Wauchula, Florida. He also faces charges of eluding, speeding, and driving while intoxicated in North Carolina.

Investigators are still looking into how Flores got his hands on Levin’s car; it’s not known if he was the unknown passenger Levin picked up in Delray Beach.

For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast.

[Featured image: Gary Levin/Facebook]

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