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Florida man arrested in state for murder

Dec 16, 2013 - By Ben Neary, The Associated Press

CHEYENNE -- A Florida man wanted in the deaths of his mother and brother was arrested along an interstate in southern Wyoming, authorities said Friday.

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

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 a companion, Joycelin Luck, 19, 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."

Lee said Tompkins faces extradition on two counts of second-degree murder. He said Luck, 19, of South Carolina, faces two charges of being an accessory after the fact.

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.

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