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October 27, 2002

Man charged with murder in killing near SAHS

From: St. Augustine Record, FL
Oct. 27, 2002

Joshua Wolfe of Jacksonville arrested following death of Carmen Reyes

Staff Writer

A Jacksonville Beach man has been arrested and charged with murder in the death of Carmen Maria Reyes, a 26-year-old deaf woman who died violently two weeks ago.

Joshua Raymond Wolfe, 22, also deaf, was arrested early Saturday by detectives of the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office Violent Crimes Unit who charged him with murder, according to Kevin Kelshaw, Sheriff's Office spokesman.

Investigators said Wolfe and Reyes hadbeen acquaintances for several years.

Reyes was stabbed at her home at 419 Del Monte Drive on or about Oct. 12, and a family member found her body four days later, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Wolfe was identified by witnesses who saw his vehicle parked at Reyes' home around the time of the killing, according to the Sheriff's Office. He was booked into the County Jail at 1:30 a.m. Saturday. He had a first appearance later Saturday morning before Circuit Court Judge Michael Traynor. No bond was set for Wolfe.

"It's good to have somebody that we feel pretty strongly allegedly committed this crime to be behind bars," said Sheriff's Office spokesman Kevin Kelshaw.

A motive for the homicide isn't clear, according to the Sheriff's Office. Wolfe voluntarily came in to talk with authorities, Kelshaw said.

"After questioning, they went ahead and arrested him," Kelshaw said.

The investigation is ongoing. Authorities won't release any more details about the killing because they don't want to taint a future jury, Kelshaw said.

The investigation has been challenging because, according to the Sheriff's Office, Wolfe is deaf and he allegedly altered the crime scene and a long time elapsed between the killing and the discovery of the body.Crime scene technicians from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement worked at the scene and gathered evidence. In addition, investigators enlisted the service of interpreters from the Deaf & Hard of Hearing Interpretive Services of St. Augustine.

The investigators worked 12 16-hour days to crack the case, Kelshaw said.

"I know it puts people at ease that live in that area," he said.

The killing occurred across the street from St. Augustine High School. Residents nearby were surprised to hear it had happened.

"It has always been a quiet neighborhood," said Erma Jean Curlee who lives nearby on Del Rio Street.

She said she didn't think the killer could have been anyone from the neighborhood, and it had to have been someone Reyes knew.

"I hope they've got the right fellow," Curlee said on Saturday.

Reyes was buried last week at St. Augustine Memorial Park.

© Copyright 2002 The St. Augustine Record and Morris Digital Works.