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Former City Commissioner Edie Yates Henderson and her husband, David Henderson, were the victims of an apparent double homicide in their home at 127 Lake Morton Drive, Lakeland Police confirmed this morning.
Investigators found their bodies after responding to a request for a wellness check made just before 6 p.m. Tuesday, according to Lakeland Police spokeswoman Robin Tillett.
Police say they are releasing minimal information to maintain the integrity of their investigation.
Tillett told The Ledger Tuesday night that police were seeking a suspect or suspects and were canvassing the neighborhood in search of witnesses, but police assured neighbors that they did not believe there was an imminent threat to others.
Crime tape was posted and police cars blocked Lake Morton Drive Tuesday night in front of the Henderson house and the two houses on either side of it on the south side of the lake. A police chaplain was seen leaving the cordoned-off area around 8:30.
Yates, 67, was a member of the Lakeland City Commission from 2006 to 2018, serving three terms, the maximum allowed. A certified public accountant and financial planner, she was managing partner at Baylis & Co. accounting firm.
Henderson, 64, was a lawyer-turned-commercial developer via his company, Henderson Properties.
She and Henderson were last in the news in August after they and three other investors purchased the iconic Terrace Hotel overlooking Lake Mirror for $7.25 million. They also own two hotels in Plant City.
Yates moved into the three-story house across from Lake Morton recalling an Italian villa around 2004 with her late husband, Steve Baylis, who died of cancer in March 2010.
Their son and neighbor, Todd Baylis, 36, is co-founder and president of Qgiv, a Lakeland-based tech company providing online fund-raising tools to more than 5,000 non-profit organizations nationwide.
“The hearts of our community are heart-broken by this tragic loss,” Mayor Bill Mutz said via text. “Edie Yates Henderson served our city for decades and mentored dozens of young professionals to do so, as well. She and her husband David will be very missed.”
A proclamation from former Mayor Howard Wiggs, issued as Yates left the commission in January 2018, recalled her interests in prudent fiscal management and maintaining the city’s natural beauty.
Anyone with information related to the case is encouraged to contact LPD Detective Tammy Hathcock at 863.834.6975 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To remain anonymous, contact Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477 or online.
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