Arrest in Bonita Springs murder
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. - A Bonita Springs man is in custody accused of murdering another man, then kidnapping his estranged wife.
It all started just before 10:30 a.m. Friday at a home in the 11000 block of Smokey Drive in Bonita Springs.
When deputies arrived to a report of a shooting, they found 50 year old Joseph Gales of 11026 Smokey Drive, Bonita Springs dead on the street. Witnesses told investigators they saw a red van leave the area after hearing gunshots in the neighborhood.
Based on information they collected, investigators determined the suspect to be 51-year-old Randy Marquardt of Bonita Springs. They say Marquardt shot Gales multiple times before fleeing. A friend tipped Marquardt off to the fact that law enforcement knew he was driving a red van.
Two hours after the shooting, deputies were called to a disturbance at a home on the 12000 block of Terabella Way in Fort Myers. That's the home where Marquardt's estranged wife was babysitting an 8-month-old infant.
Investigators believe Marquardt ditched the van at the home and forced the woman to leave with him in another car at gunpoint, leaving the baby in the home unattended.
After kidnapping his estranged wife, investigators say Marquardt got rid of a bloody shirt worn when he shot Gales and the gun used to shoot him.
Eventually, the kidnap victim was able to return back to the home and provide the last known location of her estranged husband. He was reported to be on foot near the McDonadls on Daniels Parkway where deputies took him into custody without incident.
Marquardt was arrested and taken to the Lee County Jail and is charged with second degree murder, armed occupied burglary, kidnapping, and possession of marijuana less than twenty grams.
"Before I know it there's 20 cop cars over there," Dale Bos lives just blocks from where the murder happened. He spent his Friday morning with his nose in a book while a real life thriller was playing out just beyond his front door.
"I heard some sound like hammers because people across the street were putting on a new roof," Bos said. "I didn't think anything of it and then I saw helicopters a few minutes later and a couple police cars and a news van go by so I got up and I looked down the street."
What he saw was the beginning of a death investigation.
"Right now you'd have to be pretty brazen to kill someone in broad daylight in a neighborhood like this," said Tiffany Wood with the Lee County Sheriff's Office.