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Suspect wanted in Family Dollar robbery in Winter Haven

Suspect wanted in Family Dollar robbery in Winter Haven

Winter Haven, FL -- Tonight, police are searching for an armed robbery suspect in the Avenue T, NE area of Winter Haven.

The suspect entered the Family Dollar in the 200 block of Avenue T, NE, showed a gun, then demanded money. The suspect then took off with an unknown amount of money.

He is described to be 5'9"-6'0", 150 to 180 pounds with black hair, brown eyes and scruffy facial hair. He was last seen wearing jeans, gray sweatshirt and sneakers.

Anyone with information is asked to call Polk County Crime Stoppers at 800-226-TIPS.

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SWAT standoff in Polk county ends peacefully

SWAT standoff in Polk county ends peacefully

Winter Haven, FL - A burglary, grand theft, and fraud suspect barricaded himself in a Winter Haven home yesterday, which turned into a six-hour standoff with Polk county SWAT team officers that ultimately ended peacefully.

43-year-old Kevin Bruce Stone locked himself, unarmed, in his former home at 8:00 a.m., which he had been ordered to stay away from by a judge on Friday. Multiple cans of tear gas were fired into the residence before the SWAT team officers entered around 2:00 p.m. and forced Stone out and took him to the Polk County Jail.

Playboy's Bartow local in the running for 2011 Playmate of the Year

Playboy's Bartow local in the running for 2011 Playmate of the Year

Bartow, FL - Playboy Magazine's Miss January 2010, Jaime Faith Edmondson, is a Tampa Bay local. The Bartow native, who will be 32 years old next week, is currently poised to potentially receive an even more elusive honor: be the first Playmate of the Year in the new decade. One of the twelve Playboy centerfolds from 2010, also known as Playmates, will earn the title.

After leaving Bartow to graduate from Northeast High School in Oakland Park, Florida, she stayed in the Sunshine State to major in Criminology at Florida Atlantic University.

Polk County father of missing child arrested

Lakeland, Florida - The father who Winter Haven Police say may have been the last person to see his young daughter and her mother before they went missing in October of 2009 has been arrested.

32-year-old Lester Ross was taken into custody early Friday morning in Lakeland.  He accused of not paying child or spousal support and grand theft.

Detectives say while he was renting a house in Winter Haven he used utilities without paying. The house located at
703 Hemenway Drive was searched on October 18. Evidence technicians dug up the back yard looking for clues after he was evicted from the house.

Click here for previous story.

Winter Haven police say they still have no new leads into what happened to Ronkeya Holmes and Masaraha Ross. They are considered missing and endangered.

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Charges against Lakeland father accused of killing daughter dropped

Bartow, Florida - Timothy King, 32, of Lakeland has spent 15 months in jail accused of killing his 5-month-old daughter.

His trial was supposed to start next month until a the state made a surprising move on Thursday.

Back in July of 2009, Lakeland Police arrested King at his home after his daughter, Kyra King, died while in his care.

King has always maintained his innocence, saying he thought something was wrong with her when he picked her up from daycare that day.

Police say the baby died from blunt force trauma to her head at the hands of her father.

Then, almost one year to the day of Kyra's death, another 5-month-old child, Zachary Quijano, suffered a "strikingly similar" death at the same exact daycare, Wilson's Child Care in Lakeland.

King's lawyers say that evidence swayed the state to drop the charges.

Funeral held for Polk County sheriff's deputy

Winter Haven, Florida - Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says one of his deputies, a beloved sergeant, could have been alive today but he was more concerned about being parked in the way of others. Sheriff Judd says Sgt. Wesley Whitmore moved his patrol car and in an instant he was killed in a tragic car accident.

Hundreds of people attended the funeral Mass for 60 year old Whitmore Friday morning. It was held at Saint Joseph's Catholic Church at 523 Avenue M NW. The service started at 10 a.m. and ended around 1 p.m. 

Judd described Whitmore as, "A supervisor who took calls at the end of a 12 hour shift so his deputies could go home on time. A sergeant who loved to be a deputy."

Update: Orange grove body identified

Update: Orange grove body identified

Haines City, FL - Polk County Sheriff's Office Homicide Detectives are conducting a death investigation centered around a deceased body found in a Haines City orange grove by the grove owner's son on the afternoon of December 15, 2010.

The deceased victim has been identified by detectives. The release of his name is pending next of kin notification. During the investigation, detectives determined that the victim had been staying at the State Motel located at 35509 Hwy. 27N in Haines City.

Surveillance video from the motel showed that during the morning hours of December 15, 2010 the victim and another unknown Hispanic male in a red sweatshirt (pictured above) arrived in a small unknown model red four door vehicle and rented a room.