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December 12, 2013

Missing Orangeburg teen, double murder suspect arrested in Wyoming

A missing 19-year-old Orangeburg County teen and the 24-year-old double murder suspect wanted in Florida for killing his mother and brother have been captured in Wyoming.

A missing teen from Orangeburg County was arrested along with a Florida man wanted in the deaths of his mother and brother after the two were stopped on an interstate in southern Wyoming, authorities said Friday.

Steven Tompkins, 24, was arrested Thursday along Interstate 25, about 65 miles north of Cheyenne.

Tompkins faces extradition on two counts of second-degree murder. Luck, 19, of South Carolina, who had been reported missing Tuesday by her mother, faces two charges of being an accessory after the fact.

Wyoming Highway Patrol Sgt. Stephen Townsend said Tompkins is wanted in connection with the killings of Shelley Tompkins, 55, and Daniel Tompkins, 22. They were found dead Tuesday in their home in Lehigh Acres, Fla., outside Fort Myers.

Tompkins and Luck were arrested when a state trooper spotted them by the side of the road after the pickup truck they were riding in ran out of gas, Townsend said. Wyoming authorities had been advised to be on the lookout for the couple because of the investigation in Florida. Townsend said they were in a 2004, Ford F-150 pickup truck with Florida tags that had been reported stolen.

The Wyoming trooper, whom Townsend declined to name, called for backup, and deputies with the Platte County Sheriff’s Department assisted in the arrests. He said the couple were arrested without incident shortly after 6 p.m. Thursday. It was unclear Friday if they had attorneys.

The couple were being held in the Platte County Detention Center in Wheatland, Townsend said. He said they had apparently driven the truck to Wyoming from Florida.

Lee County, Fla., Sheriff Mike Scott issued a statement on Friday thanking Wyoming law enforcement.

“I have to commend our detectives who worked tirelessly from hour one of this horrific crime,” Scott said. “They’ve done an outstanding job investigating, solving and coordinating to bring this to resolution.”

Townsend said Tompkins is facing a Wyoming charge of possession of stolen property, while Luck faces a charge of being an accessory to possession of stolen property. Townsend said he couldn’t comment on whether Tompkins had any guns or other weapons.

Joycelin Luck was reported missing Dec. 10 by her mother, Linda Luck, who told police her daughter had stolen $1,000 cash from their home.

Linda Luck helped police determine Joycelin had been at the Walmart on North Road in Orangeburg Tuesday evening. Surveillance video from the Walmart showed Luck with a man who was later identified as Tompkins.

State staff writer Anne-Kathryn Flanagan contributed.

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