Flip Flops Lead Polk Detectives to Bartow Murder Suspect


Bartow, Fla. (Newsradio WFLA) - A woman who left her flip flops behind at a murder scene now faces charges in the case, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said. Heather Tyler, 28, admitted that the footwear was hers, and that she had ridden in a car into an orange grove where Joseph Witherington, 21, was later found dead with two gunshots to the head.

Detective say that Tyler told them that Witherington came to her house on Wednesday, driving a friend's blue Kia. After hanging out for a few hours, they drove to a local convenience store, and eventually out to the grove on Mud Lake Road, according to a news release from the PCSO.

"The evidence and witness statements confirm that she shot him in the head while he was driving," th release said. "She shot him again after the vehicle came to a stop. She then took his wallet and fled the scene, leaving her shoes behind, and burned her clothes that had his blood on them. She did not give detectives a clear motive for the killing."

Tyler remains in the Polk County Jail on no bond.

Photo of Heather Tyler courtesy of the Polk Co. jail.

Photo of Heather Tyler courtesy of the Polk Co. jail.


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