2 men found in burning SUV had been shot, deputies say

Deputies release names of 2 men found inside burning vehicle

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Two men found inside a burned-out SUV in St. Augustine last week were shot before the SUV was set on fire, according to St. Johns County deputies.

The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office confirmed Tuesday that the men were Charles Ray Durden, 27, and Staffon Demarius Larry, 26.

The men were found dead Wednesday inside the SUV on Spring Street near Fred Waters Way in St. Augustine.

When authorities arrived, the SUV was engulfed in flames that were so hot they melted off the writing on a nearby street sign and burned a street light. After firefighters put out the fire, officers found the two bodies inside the Dodge Journey.

The Medical Examiner's Office later ruled the men's deaths homicides. The cause of death was by gunshot and arson, deputies said.

Durden's family made an emotional plea last week for answers in his death.

Annette Durden, Charles Durden's mother, was distraught Thursday as she dealt with the reality that her son is gone. She said he was the father of two young children.

“I just want justice for my family, for me, for my grandbabies, and I'm trying so hard not to break down right now,” she said.

Annette Durden said investigators have given her family some information, but they are hoping for more.

“If you have a heart, if you have a conscience, come forth, because you can't hide for long,” she said.

Detectives are continuing to pursue leads in search of a suspect or suspects in connection with the murders, deputies said.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact CrimeStoppers of Northeast Florida at 1-888-277-8477. The reward has been raised to $5,000 for any information leading to an arrest in the case.

Citizen tips can also be called in to St. Augustine Police Department Cpl. M. Ochkie at 904-392-6123 or St. Johns County Sheriff's Office Detective S. English at 904-687-8978.

Any business or resident within a mile of the intersection at Spring Street and Fred Waters Way that might have a security camera system working is asked to check their footage and see if anything unusual happens on the video on Nov. 16 from 12 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.