Deputies: Wanted murder suspect captured in Jacksonville

Joseph McKee arrested in stabbing death of 37-year-old Interlachen woman

By Debra Fine - Producer, Jason Mealey - Producer/assignment editor

INTERLACHEN, Fla. - A man wanted in connection with the stabbing death of an Interlachen woman was captured Monday morning in Jacksonville, according to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office. 

Joseph McKee, 38, of Interlachen, is charged with first-degree murder.

About 4 a.m. Sunday, deputies said, Alicia Marie Kerce, 37, was found dead outside her Interlachen home on Sand Lake Road. Investigators said she died of multiple stab wounds. 

Detectives said they identified McKee as a person of interest and began searching him, as well as for Kerce’s missing truck.

Alachua County sheriff's deputies later found her 1990 Nissan truck, which was had been burned, on U.S. 301 in Waldo. Nearby, Alachua County deputies responded to a report of a stolen vehicle. 

Investigators said they believe McKee set the truck on fire then stole the other vehicle to travel to Jacksonville. 

During the search for McKee, according to the Sheriff's Office, one of McKee's family members contacted detectives early Monday morning and told them that McKee was in Jacksonville, but was trying to leave town. 

Detectives said they then contacted the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, which sent police to the area.

Investigators said they learned that during McKee's attempt to leave town, he tried to get a ride with a delivery truck driver but an argument ensued and escalated into a physical altercation, during which McKee broke his leg. 

The injury prevented McKee from escaping and Jacksonville officers took him into custody when they arrived, authorities said. McKee was reportedly taken to a hospital for treatment.

At 10:09 a.m., he was booked into the Duval County jail on an out-of-county warrant, according to online jail records. 

News4Jax found that McKee has a lengthy history of arrests in Putnam and Alachua counties on charges that include home invasion robbery, grand theft auto, retail theft, drug possession, domestic battery and bringing contraband into a detention facility.

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