Three Questioned in Truck Driver's Murderby Jana Ritter - Published: 4/06/2016
Just weeks after a truck driver was murdered at a Sumner, WA truck stop, another truck driver was shot to death in Polk County, N.C. last Thursday and now three “persons of interest” are in custody. They were arrested In Gainesville, Florida on charges unrelated to the homicide, but investigators believe they are connected to the case.
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On Thursday, March 31 at around 6 a.m. the driver of a tractor-trailer pulled up behind a box truck parked along the on ramp from Highway 108 to U.S. 74 West. The box truck suddenly rolled backwards and hit the tractor-trailer, so the big rig driver called police to simply report the accident. But when officers arrived on the scene, they found 51-year-old Destry Horne of Lilesville, N.C. dead in the cab. According to Det. Sgt. Randall Hodge of the Polk County Sheriff's Office, it was quickly determined he had been shot by a handgun and it appeared to be a homicide rather than a suicide. Hodge said they immediately interviewed the tractor-trailer driver who explained he had been getting ready for his day on the job, when the box truck just rolled into him. Investigators said there were no signs indicating the tractor-trailer driver was involved in Horne’s death.
Polk County investigators wasted no time trying to piece together the crime and by April 1, they released surveillance photos from a nearby gas station of two men and two women who were seen about 500 yards away from where Horne was found in his truck. They were also driving a stolen car, which also appeared on the surveillance footage and was involved in a police chase the next day. Apparently, a Spartanburg County deputy spotted one of the men at a restaurant and when he tried to stop the Ford Mustang the suspect was driving, a high-speed chase ensued. According to the police, the chase started on Highway 9 and continued on Interstate 85 reaching speeds of over 130 mph. The feeing suspect caused several accidents attempting to bypass heavy traffic and driving in the emergency lane. However, the Mustang managed to escape and was later found abandoned on a nearby road. The driver was later identified through fingerprints in the car - as Quintae Edwards.
Then on Sunday night, three people were arrested in Gainesville, FL for a home invasion, robbery and kidnapping attempt - using a handgun. They turned out to be Edwards and two others from the gas station surveillance video - Kwame Fernanders and Kayla Black. Polk County investigators travelled to Florida to question them about Horne’s murder and are continuing to seek the fourth person of interest.
Authorities urge anyone who saw anything or may have any information related to the murder to contact the Polk County Sheriff's Office at (828) 894-3001.