Couple tied up for days found in Clay County home after suspect called to report crime: sheriff

Clay County officials, FDLE investigating incident in Green Cove Springs

A man was arrested Monday after he called police and admitted to having two people tied up inside a Green Cove Springs home, Sheriff Michelle Cook said on Tuesday.

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – A man was arrested Monday after he called police and admitted to having two people tied up inside a Green Cove Springs home, Sheriff Michelle Cook said on Tuesday.

Cook said just after 11:30 p.m. on Monday night, the Clay County Communications Center received a call from Aubrey Lumpkin, 46, who said he was at a home off County Road 315. It is unknown what he told officials on the phone.

But when deputies arrived, Lumpkin said he “needed to confess something.” He told deputies two people, who officials believed to be the homeowners, were inside the home and tied up.

“We believe the occupants have been there (tied up inside the home) for a couple of days,” Cook said.

An ambulance was called and the two people were taken to the hospital where they are being treated. Court and property records list a couple in their 70s as the owners.

Ron Wall has lived in the neighborhood for decades. He said he’s well acquainted with the people who live there.

“I (was) scared to death they were murdered or something. There was an incident, gone to the hospital. That’s all I know,” Wall said. “They’re good people. Never bothered anybody. I’ve known them for 50, 60 years.”

“They’re quiet. They keep to themselves,” said resident Lonnie Strickland. “Nice people.”

The daughter of the woman who lives in the home lives out of state. She said she was anxious and stressed -- waiting for her mother to give her a call.

Strickland told News4JAX that Lumpkin lived in a home next door with a family member of the couple.

Lumpkin was detained and booked for an outstanding warrant and robbery home invasion.

Several Clay County law enforcement agencies, including the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, responded to the incident.

News4JAX learned that Lumpkin is a twice-convicted felon and has served a total of nine years in prison on drug-dealing convictions.

Cook said Lumpkin is cooperating and that this is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Clay County Sheriff’s Office at 264-6512 or a SaferWatch tip may be placed.

News4JAX has learned one person was arrested at the location early Tuesday morning.

About the Authors:

Specializes in Clay County issues, general assignment reporting and stories off the beaten path and anchors weekend evening newscasts.

Renee Beninate is a Florida native and award-winning reporter who joined the News4Jax team in June 2021.