Self-proclaimed serial killer says he was in St. Pete in 2016

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Nicholas Brent Gibson

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Nicholas Brent Gibson says he’s a serial killer. He claims one of his victims was a man from the Tampa Bay area, according to sources cited by the Daily Mail.

8 On Your Side has been investigating Gibson’s potential ties to our area for weeks. There was no trace of him ever being here, until now.

According to records, Gibson claimed to have been in St. Petersburg in March 2016. He told detectives in Jupiter that he left St. Petersburg because the move did not work out.

We’ve learned that around that time in 2016, Gibson was taken into custody under the Baker Act. He had a mental health evaluation after he was found with a laceration on his forearm.

Right now, the sex offender is in the custody of U.S. Marshals in South Florida. Gibson will soon be charged for one murder.

According to the Miami Beach Police Department, Gibson is the suspect in a homicide that occurred in their jurisdiction at 1508 Michigan Avenue. The victim has been identified as 77-year-old Erik B. Stocker.

Miami Beach Public Information Officer Ernesto Rodriguez said Gibson admitted to his involvement in the murder of Stocker. 

Right now, there are new questions about whether that murder could have potentially been averted. In the months before the alleged crime, U.S. Marshal’s were actively looking for Gibson.

8 On Your Side tracked down a man who says he’s known Gibson for years.

“They asked me if I knew or if I had heard from Nicholas Gibson, if I had seen him, if he was ever here in my home,” said Deric Stratt.

Stratt said two marshals first stopped by his home in January.

“I asked them why would you think that he’s here in my home?” said Stratt. “They said because on his paperwork, he put your address as his last known address.”

Stratt states he hadn’t seen Gibson since he was released from prison in November 2018. 

According to Stratt, another marshal stopped by his home in April, days before the alleged murder.

8 On Your Side discussed this fact pattern with Dr. Bryanna Fox, a former FBI Special Agent.

“What are some of the reasons that they wouldn’t be able to take someone into custody on time?” asked investigative reporter Mahsa Saeidi.

“One of the key factors is a lot of people that are wanted for crimes are very transient,” said Dr. Fox.

Dr. Fox also said the search area is often huge.

Marshals work sources, hit the pavement and juggle countless cases.

“They have hundreds, if not thousands of fugitives that they are chasing at any point in time,” said Dr. Fox. “They are usually working every single case.”

A spokesperson with the U.S. Marshal’s didn’t provide comment or additional facts regarding this case.  

Police in St. Petersburg tell 8 On Your Side they have not been contacted by authorities about Gibson.

Gibson made his first court appearance in federal court on Friday.

8 On Your Side will continue to track this story.

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