JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Editor’s note: This story contains details that some will find graphic. Discretion is advised.
A woman died after she was tortured, waterboarded and beaten last month at a home on Soforenko Road in Oceanway, according to Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office records.
On Nov. 10, according to a police report, an unresponsive 30-year-old woman, who was identified by her relatives as Chelsea Nicole Thompson, was brought to Fire Station No. 35 on North Main Street and then taken to a hospital, where she died.
“She was a mother. She has two daughters. She was a great person,” said her aunt, Elizabeth Colageo, who spoke to News4JAX by phone in South Carolina. “She would do anything for anyone.”
According to an arrest warrant, doctors found she had facial swelling, was bleeding from an ear, had brain swelling, had a fractured vertebra, and had bruising on her wrists and ankles consistent with being tied up.
The warrant states an older woman, who brought the 30-year-old to the fire station, said the 30-year-old had been arguing throughout the day with 37-year-old Henry Lannon II. According to JSO, Lannon then took off, but when police took possession of the older woman’s phone, they learned Lannon had gone to a friend’s house in St. Marys. Police there went to the home and talked to the friend there. According to the warrant, he said Lannon had been staying with him and Lannon told him that he “he killed a girl in Jacksonville” and “needed to burn some stuff.” Police said a burn pile was observed in the friend’s backyard.
The friend told police that Lannon said he tied up the 30-year-old, waterboarded her, smothered her with a pillow and hit her, according to the warrant. The warrant states the friend told police that Lannon said he wanted her to shut up, so he “tortured her” and that “the girl begged for her life.”
The U.S. marshals were alerted and they found Lannon on Nov. 23 at a hotel on Salisbury Road, according to an arrest report. He dropped a backpack and ran, but was caught, according to the report. The backpack contained 110 grams of meth, the report states.
Lannon is charged with aggravated assault, kidnapping, trafficking in meth and resisting police.
As of Thursday, he was being held in the Duval County jail without bond, jail records show.
The Sheriff’s Office has listed the 30-year-old’s death as a murder.
An online obituary reads: “Chelsea has such a love for people and especially her family and friends. She leaves behind so very many people that will miss her sweet, funny and fighting personality.”
“I never would have expected that in this neighborhood,” said Oceanway resident Joe Parcell. “I can’t believe it. It’s always been quiet. Been here for eight years and never had any problems here.”