WAUCHULA, Fla. (WFLA) — A man with ties to a dead Lyft driver has been extradited to Florida to face a murder charge for a separate incident.
Mathew Scot Flores, 36, was booked into the Hardee County Jail on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).
Flores went on the run in January after he was accused of fatally shooting Jose Carlos Martinez, 43, in Wauchula. He was captured over a week later when he lead police on an alleged chase across North Carolina in a car that belonged to a missing south Florida Lyft driver.
“Residents of Florida should not have to worry about violent criminals like Flores living freely,” FDLE Special Agent in Charge Eli Lawson said in a statement. “Our agents in the FDLE Sebring Field Office and officers at Wauchula Police Department have worked tirelessly to make sure Flores faces the consequences of his actions. All of Florida can sleep soundly knowing this man is behind bars.”
Flores was charged with first degree murder, grand theft, tampering with physical evidence, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in the Wauchula shooting.
According to the Palm Beach Post, Flores was identified as a “person of interest” in the death of Lyft driver Gary Levin, 74, whose body was found in an Okeechobee County swamp on Feb. 4. He has not been charged in connection to that case.
Levin’s daughter, Lindsay DiBetta, said her father’s car was seen in several cities around Florida before it ended up in North Carolina. A Florida woman accused of helping Flores evade police, Stephanie Velgara, 31, was charged as an accessory after the fact.