NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. - Lee County Sheriff, Mike Scott says the fugitive, Billy Ray Retherford, Jr. is dead after deputies located him in North Fort Myers early Wednesday morning. Retherford was wanted for the July 24th murder of Debra Striano at her home in the Three Oaks Community of South Fort Myers.
Late Tuesday night, LCSO deputies working with the U.S. Marshal's Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force acted on a tip for the location of the accused murderer. They were able to track Retherford to a home off Laurel Drive in North Fort Myers. Task force members say Retherford was armed, shots were fired, and the fugitive died at the scene.
Retherford has been on the run since the murder July 24th. His accomplice, his nephew Dustin Jaye, was arrested July 31 for his role in Debra Striano's murder.
On Tuesday evening, LCSO responded to a medical emergency at 3562 Sabal Springs Boulevard in North Fort Myers. Responding deputies located a deceased individual, later identified as 61-year-old Gregory Imhoff, who was the apparent victim of a homicide. Now, deputies believe Retherford may be responsible for this as well.
"The Sabal Springs incident is believed to be directly related to the events surrounding the scene on Laurel Lane where Billy Ray Retherford’s life of crime came to an end. The residents of Sabal Springs and parents with children at North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts have nothing to fear," said Sheriff Mike Scott
Sheriff Mike Scott referred to Retherford this morning as a career criminal, saying he was a "Very, very violent individual, three times to prison. Most of his life has been spent incarcerated, institutionalized - a very violent individual and tonight he went out the way he operated, which was violent."