Car that carried slain Lehigh man was bloodied, broken


LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. The car in which a slain Lehigh Acres man was last seen alive was found with all electrical fuses removed, rendering it inoperable, according to a Lee County Sheriff’s Office report.

Copious amounts of blood were found in the 2015 red Chrysler 200 that was discovered with a bullet hole in the front windshield Oct. 18, the report states.

Matthew Eugene Collins, 31, drove the vehicle from his house Oct. 12 to go get a haircut, but he wasn’t in the vehicle when it was found, the sheriff’s office said. His remains were discovered in a shallow grave in a heavily wooded lot on the 5900 block of Sally Avenue North.

MORE: Couple arrested, face judge in Lehigh Acres homicide

Aria Armstead, 20, Nathan Ortiz, 21, were arrested Saturday in connection to the case. Armstead faces a second-degree murder charge, Ortiz faces a charge of having been an accessory after the fact, and both face charges of tampering with evidence.

Angela Hicks, a cousin of Collins, said her family remains in shock.

“He loved his family,” she said. “We were, you know, were not the perfect family by any means, but we’re close, you know? We constantly kept in contact no matter what. He’s lived with me off and on over the years, so we’re really close.”

MORE: Woman killed in Bonita Springs

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.