JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - A man wanted in connection with an Alabama murder case was taken into custody Thursday afternoon in Jacksonville Beach, authorities said.
Lucas Ray Kemp, 18, of Huntsville, Alabama, was among three people detained about 12:45 p.m. at the beach near Oceanfront Park, according to the Jacksonville Beach Police Department.
Of the three, Kemp was the only individual arrested as there was an active warrant out for his arrest stemming from a murder and burglary in Madison, Alabama, a suburb of Huntsville.
The two others detained by police were questioned and released once local investigators learned that they were viewed as witnesses in the Alabama case, the police department stated in a news release.
Madison Police Capt. John Stringer told News4Jax investigators believe Kemp was involved in the homicide of 21-year-old Robert Luke Pratt, who was killed in his home Monday. Stringer said two other men had been arrested in the slaying and that the investigation in the town of 50,000 was still very fluid.
Officers were alerted to Kemp’s presence after a pickup truck sought by investigators in Madison was found parked in the area, the release said. Shortly afterward, Kemp was taken into custody nearby.
Sgt. Larry Smith said Thursday's arrest was a great example of how technology can help police.
"The license plate readers in our surrounding jurisdictions alerted us to the vehicle being in our area. Subsequently, leading to the arrest of an out of state murder suspect," Smith said.
Interim police chief Mark Evans said Kemp’s Chevrolet pickup truck was spotted in St. Johns County and Atlantic Beach before a Jacksonville Beach police officer noticed it on patrol.
“So we had our officers start checking all the end zones and parking lots to see if we can find a vehicle,” Evans said.
The officer called for backup, and several other officers in the area began to search the beach for people matching the description of Kemp, which was put out from the Madison Police Department.
“We had gotten a be on the lookout regarding possible suspect,” Evans said. Kemp was arrested without incident.
Kemp was taken to the Duval County jail, where he remains in custody on a warrant as a fugitive from justice, jail logs show. It’s unclear when he’ll be extradited back to Alabama.
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