Son of woman found dead in Jacksonville arrested in Delaware

Police: Marcus Heath led troopers on multistate chase in mom's stolen Mercedes

By Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist, Crystal Chen - Assignment editor/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The son of a 55-year-old woman found dead in Jacksonville Tuesday morning was arrested that same day in Delaware after police said he led them on a multistate, high-speed chase in his mother's stolen Mercedes.

Marcus Heath, 26, is being held as an out-of-state fugitive on a grand theft warrant out of Duval County, Delaware authorities said. 

Heath's address, 2199 Mossbrook Court in Jacksonville, is the same as the Westside home where his mother, Voncile Heath, was found dead, lying in a pool of blood, on Tuesday morning. Police said she had visible injuries, but it's unclear what caused them or how long she had been dead.

Police said they are investigating Voncile Heath's death as a murder, but they have not indicated if her son is connected to the crime.

Neighbors said he had a loving relationship with his mother and wondered why he would take off in her car.

“It’s close to home. It’s the closest it’s ever been for me,” another neighbor, Aric Thompson, said. "I’ve seen them walking around outside. I’ve seen them outside of the house and stuff like that. I used to go to the park up there by their house."

Heath is being held in Delaware pending extradition proceedings that will bring him back to Jacksonville.

The chase

According to Delaware State Police, Marcus Heath was spotted on I-95 in Maryland about 4:40 p.m. Tuesday in a stolen, silver 2006 Mercedes-Benz with Florida tags. Police said the car belonged to his mother.

Heath refused to stop for the Maryland trooper trying to pull him over and continued to travel I-95 northbound at a high rate of speed, police said. The vehicle continued into Delaware, where it was last seen on I-95 northbound.

A couple of hours later, someone called 911 to report an empty silver Mercedes-Benz they did not recognize was parked in their driveway.

Officers searched the area of the home and found Heath at about 6:30 p.m., police said. He tried to run but was caught after a short foot chase, authorities said.

Anyone with information on Voncile Heath's murder is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).

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