A Florida sheriff said Tuesday that three separate incidents of teenagers found shot and killed might be related to "hybrid gangs" rather than a serial killer.
Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods told reporters Tuesday the latest developments in a bizarre series of murders in central Florida north of Orlando.
Layla Silvernail, a 16-year-old girl, was found on Thursday shot on the side of a rural road. She was taken to a hospital in critical condition where she later died.
The next day, a 17-year-old boy, who has not yet been identified, was found shot to death less than a mile away from the location where Silvernail was found.
A day later on Saturday, a 16-year-old girl, who also has not yet been identified, was found dead in a vehicle belonging to Silvernail. The car was partially submerged and the girl was dead by a gunshot wound.
Woods said investigators had concluded that the three teens were friends and had been “together leading up to the incident itself.”
He went on to say the murders might be related to hybrid gangs, but he offered no other details about that lead.
“There’s information that we’re being given that there’s a possibility of hybrid gangs, and that’s about it. I can’t tell you who’s associated, what gangs associated with or anything like that,” he added.
Hybrid gangs are composed of gang members who are traditionally opposed to each other but temporarily cooperate in order to fulfill some criminal effort.
Woods then denied that there was a serial killer involved and then went on to criticize people on social media who spread rumors without confirmed information.
“That is far from the truth. Now, I have the facts of what we know right now and I can give you that assurance, so do not speculate on social media. Because one of the things I want each of you to think of and try to remember when you start to type is that there are family members out there reading it,” he added.
“And some of you, you make s*** up. And it’s devastating to that family, and you need to stop," he concluded.
He added that he had 15 detectives on the case.
The murders have shocked the small town of Ocklawaha, which consists of only 1,500 residents.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help pay for the burial expenses for Silvernail.
Woods vowed to build a case to convict and imprison those responsible for the murders.
“We're gonna get 'em,” Woods said. “Their ass is going to be right over there, in that jail.”
Here's more about the Florida murder mystery:
Marion County sheriff discusses deaths of 3 teens found shotwww.youtube.com
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