PINELLAS PARK – A man and woman have been arrested as suspects in the homicide of Pinellas Park resident Gary Yarnell, 69.
Authorities in Kentucky found both Gregg Daugherty, 46, and Marita Hutchinson, 37, near London, Ky., after Pinellas Park investigators gained a warrant for their arrests last month. Detectives believe they are responsible for death of Yarnell, who was killed by “trauma to the body,” department spokesman Brian Unmisig said.
Yarnell’s house, on 76th Avenue North in Pinellas Park, was set on fire to conceal his death, police said. His body was found as firefighters battled the flames May 29.
Detectives determined that Daugherty and Hutchinson stayed at Yarnell’s house, “in the day or days prior to when he was found,” Unmisig said. Daugherty and Hutchinson’s names also came up in the investigation of an unrelated grand theft in Pinellas Park. Detectives believe Daugherty stole “multiple items” from another resident and that Hutchinson then pawned one of the items, Unmisig said.
“The investigations (of the theft and the homicide) took a parallel course … because the suspects’ names came up in both investigations,” Unmisig said.
A warrant was issued for the pair in June, charging Daugherty with grand theft and Hutchinson with dealing in stolen property. Detectives discovered that the two had left the state, headed for Kentucky, or Ohio.
On June 30, Daugherty ran from a DUI checkpoint near London, Ky., where his family lives, Unmisig said. He was driving a 1999 Toyota Solara, which Yarnell had owned and had been reported missing, along with other items, from his burned home. While tracking him down, Kentucky State Police found Hutchinson at a nearby residence and took her into custody.
Authorities did not find Daugherty at that time, but found the Toyota Solara abandoned the next day.
Hutchinson was extradited back to Florida booked in the Pinellas County Jail at 1:08 p.m. July 18. She is being held without bond on one charge of first-degree murder and two charges of dealing in stolen property.
On July 16, Laurel County Sheriff’s Department found Daugherty near London, Ky. He was taken into custody without incident. He remains in Laurel County Jail in Kentucky, but will face charges of first-degree murder and grand theft when he is extradited back to Pinellas County.