NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla.-UPDATE: Positive identification of the woman found murdered in North Fort Myers has been completed. She is identified as 61-year-old Phyllis Stein of 150 S.E. 1st Place in Cape Coral.
Detectives with the Major Crimes Unit of the Sheriff's Office have determined Mrs. Stein was in the driveway of her home around 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, washing her new car. She was approached by Antonio Thomas who forced her into the car and drove to another location where she was beaten, raped and murdered. He then drove to the parking lot of the Auto Zone in North Fort Myers where he removed the body. The victim's vehicle was located in the Dunbar area by Fort Myers Police yesterday evening.
Antonio Thomas has been charged with first degree murder among other charges for this and other crimes. A list of current charges is available on the Sheriff's Office website at www.sheriffleefl.org under the Crime Activity / Inmate Search tab. Additional information is also under the News tab / "Extremely Violent" Individual Arrested; Terrorized Community for 9 Days.
ORIGINAL STORY: On Wednesday, the Lee County Sheriff's Office received a call about an injured woman. Deputies and EMS responded to the parking lot of Auto Zone, located at 5080 Bayshore Road, in North Fort Myers. The victim was located in the southwestern portion of the lot, near the back of the business. She was transported to the Trauma Center of Lee Memorial Hospital and pronounced deceased.
Due to the nature of the incident, Detectives with the Sheriff's Office Homicide and Forensics Unit were assigned to continue the investigation.
The victim has not been identified. She is described as a white female; somewhere between 45 and 55 years old: approximately 5'6" - 5'8" tall" approximately 130 pounds; her hair comes to just above her shoulders, is brown, but graying. Anyone who may know of her identity is asked to call the Lee County Sheriff's Office at (239) 477-1000.
No details as to her injuries or other information is available for release at this time. An autopsy will be performed by the District 21 Medical Examiner as the investigation continues.