Local Man Helps Police Arrest Millionaire Murder Suspects
By First Coast News Staff
JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Family and friends held a funeral Saturday for the millionaire murdered near Tampa this week. Jeffrey Dampier was found dead Thursday.
Nathaniel Jackson and Victoria Jackson, not related, are still in custody in Duval County. Jacksonville Sheriff's officers had received a tip call that the two were staying in a home on Morehouse Road Thursday. Investigators say the two went with police without any incident.
Officers say Nathaniel Jackson first lied about his name and denied having ID. A search later turned up an Illinois drivers license with his actual identity. Victoria Jackson also gave police several false names and birthdates before revealing her true identity. The two are now charged with murder and kidnapping.
JSO confiscated clothing from the home where the two were staying. It's been sent to Tampa for processing. Officers also say they found a bag of marijuana in the back of their police cruiser after the suspects got out.
Dampier, 39, had won a $20 million jackpot in the Illinois Lottery several years ago. He had moved with his family to Hillsborough County to open a popcorn store. Police say Victoria Jackson is Dampier's sister-in-law, and Nathaniel Jackson, her boyfriend.
It all started when neighbors noticed a running van sitting at the end of their road in Seffner, near Tampa, Tuesday. Witnesses say a couple got out of the van and claimed they had run out of gas -- a claim that seemed suspicious.
"We walked up to the vehicle cautiously," said neighbor James Ruffalo.
"We even knocked on the window. No one answered. I could see in his eyes that he saw something and he said, 'I see blood everywhere, I can see a body. Call 911.'"
Dampier was later found dead in the driver's seat with one gunshot wound.
Police believe the couple drove him from his home in Brandon to Seffner, also in Hillsborough County, demanding money all along the way. Another woman was also in the van and may have witnessed the murder. Her identity is not being released for her protection.
Stay with First Coast News and firstcoastnews.com for continuing coverage.
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