An Okeechobee County grand jury Tuesday indicted Mathew Scott Flores, 36, of Wauchula, on charges of first-degree premeditated murder with a firearm, robbery with a firearm, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
According to a statement from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, special agents connected Flores to the to the murder of 74-year-old Gary Levin while they were assisting with a Wauchula homicide investigation last January. Special agents at FDLE's Fort Myers Regional Operations Center connected Flores to a vehicle stolen out of Orange County and found in Lake Worth. While in Lake Worth, Flores asked for a Lyft ride to be ordered to take him to Okeechobee. Mr. Levin responded to the Lyft request and picked up Flores.
Two days later, Palm Beach Gardens Police Department received a missing person report for Mr. Levin. Following an exhaustive search by FDLE agents, Flores was found driving Mr. Levin’s Lyft vehicle in Rutherford County, North Carolina.
“The crime was senseless, calculating, and cold. Mr. Levin was a beloved member of the Palm Beach Gardens community," Special Agent in Charge Eli Lawson said. H"e was a father and a friend. His loved ones have experienced an insurmountable amount of grief that no one should ever have to go through."
After a brief vehicle pursuit, Flores was taken into custody by North Carolina Highway Patrol and Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office. On February 4, 2023, FDLE agents found Mr. Levin’s body in a wooded lot in Okeechobee County.
The 19th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.