LAKE ALFRED — The picturesque town of Lake Alfred, known for its antiques shops and quaint downtown shopping and dining, is now the scene of a gruesome murder investigation.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is urging anyone with information on the brutal murder of James “Terry” Yelvington to come forward and assist the investigation.
“We need the public’s help to solve this senseless homicide,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. The case is now close to a month old.
The Sheriff’s Office detectives reported that the murder happened at 5:50 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 11. That’s when Yelvington, was shot to death in front of his home at 735 S. Todhunter Way Lake Alfred.
Detectives interviewed other residents of the neighborhood, and reported that witnesses said they heard gunfire, then saw a car speeding away from the scene.
Witnesses described the car as a four-door, late 90s to early 2000 model GMC Jimmy or Chevrolet Blazer, burgundy or dark in color, and video surveillance cameras captured eerie images of the car in the dark morning hours.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office released images of the car on YouTube and to the media, hoping that someone recognizes it and provides detectives with information about the owner or driver.
There is also reward money available. Judd announced that he had authorized an increase of the reward to $20,000 for information leading to an arrest. This monetary reward, the sheriff noted, combines resources from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Heartland Crime Stoppers.
“If you know something, say something,” Judd said.
Anyone who thinks they know something about the case can contact Detective Katsoulis at 863-298-6925 or 863-298-6200.
Anyone with information that wants to remain anonymous, but still be eligible for the cash reward, can call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS, where anonymity is guaranteed.
iPhone users can download a free tip submit app to anonymously report crime. To install this free app, search for “TipSoft” or “TipSubmit” on the Apple App Store.
Contact Freeline Media at Freelineorlando@gmail.com..