St. Johns County investigators ask tipsters to call again in 2016 double homicide

2 men found inside burning vehicle had been shot, deputies say; case remains unsolved

Photos of Charles Durden and Staffon Larry, provided by the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office (Provided by the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office)

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – St. Johns County detectives are still looking for the person or people responsible for shooting two men in St. Augustine and then setting their SUV on fire in November 2016.

Charles Ray Durden, 27, and Steffon Demarius Larry, 26, were found dead Nov. 16 shortly before 1 a.m. 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.

Detectives with the St. Augustine Police Department and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office received numerous anonymous tips about the case, but they never had enough probable cause for an arrest warrant.

According to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, detectives have recently started a renewed effort “to bring closure and justice” for the families of Durden and Larry.

Investigators think some of the original anonymous tipsters might have more information and details that they didn’t include in their initial calls to police.

Detectives are asking those original tipsters and anyone who may have had information at the time, or who might have heard anything related to the murders since that time, to contact the St. Johns County Major Crimes Unit by calling Detective Jon Dees at 904-209-2130.

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 $10,000 for any information leading to an arrest in the case.


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