DNA links youth pastor to dismembered teen: Cops

DNA was taken from Hyde’s trash can and it matched DNA found on a flannel shirt found in a dumpster near Laster’s dismembered body.

On Tuesday investigators conducted extensive searches on two of Hyde’s properties. Because only Laster’s torso was recovered at the time, its likely investigators were searching for the remaining body parts.

Ronnie Leon Hyde. (Duval County Jail)

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According to court documents, the victim’s sister told cops in 2016 she suspected Hyde had something to do with her brother’s disappearance. WJXT reported Hyde – a youth pastor and friend of the Laster family – was the last person to be seen with the 16-year-old.

Jacksonville police and the FBI believe Hyde is connected to the 1994 murder of Fred Laster.

The body wasn’t identified as Laster’s until 2015 when DNA test confirmed it was the teen. In June 1994, a dismembered body was found behind a gas station in Lake City, Fla.

After 23 years, an arrest has been made in relation to the death and dismemberment of a Florida teen.

“This is a reminder that justice has no expiration date,” said State Attorney Melissa Nelson during a Tuesday press conference.


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Cops allege Laster was killed in Hyde’s home and dismembered with kitchen knives. Hyde is believed to have used his father’s car to dump the body while wearing the flannel shirt, one of only a few clues in the case.

According to the New York Post, Ronnie Leon Hyde, 60, was arrested Tuesday on murder charges.