Police: Girl was link between suspects, slain Buckingham man

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BUCKINGHAM, Fla. — A 16-year-old girl alleged to have been an accessory to the death of a 58-year-old man is the common thread between him and two suspects facing second-degree murder charges, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said.

The girl lived in the same Buckingham neighborhood as the late Ted Lee for years, according to the sheriff’s office. Neighbors say that she and Lee lived in the same house, after the victim took in the teenager when she was kicked out of her home.

“It’s very scary to know somebody that I went to school with, somebody that’s still a teenager, is wanted for murder,” said Shelby Reed.

Lee’s body was found wrapped in carpet by a dumpster behind a church in Manatee County on Friday while a crime scene surrounded his home on Graytwig Lane. The girl, along with Jonathan Ruffini, 18, and Tyson Hunter, 23, were apprehended Monday in Kansas.

The trio was motivated by a desire to get out of Florida and stole Lee’s credit card and vehicle as a means to get to Colorado, according to the sheriff’s office. They’re currently held in different jails near Topeka, Kansas.

“It’s sad, I can’t believe he’s dead,” said neighbor Grant Davis. “Dying is one thing but the way he was killed, hope not tortured, makes it a whole different ball game. I just hope God will make them three punks pay.”

The sheriff’s office originally identified the girl as 14 years old, but their latest information indicates that she’s 16.

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