Two people have died near Lake Morton in an incident being investigated as a homicide, Lakeland police reported tonight. Police said they do not think there is an immediate threat to people in the surrounding area.

In a statement released around 9:30 p.m., Lakeland Police spokeswoman Robin Tillett said: “Police are investigating a homicide involving two deceased victims. Detectives are canvassing the area near Lake Morton between Mississippi Ave and Orange Park Ave for potential witnesses and evidence related to the case.”

Details remain sketchy tonight. No victims have been named, and police would not confirm an address other than to say the 100 block of Lake Morton Drive.

Crime tape was posted and police cars blocked Lake Morton Drive in front of the three houses just east of Orange Park Avenue. A police chaplain was seen leaving the cordoned-off area around 8:30.

That block includes two large houses resembling Italian villas. One of the houses is occupied by former City Commissioner Edie Yates, a 67-year-old accountant, and her husband, David Henderson, a 64-year-old lawyer.

Students at nearby Florida Southern College received a message from administrators at 7:05 p.m. tonight saying they should stay inside.

“This is a very nice neighborhood,” Police Chief Ruben Garcia told News Channel 8. “We’ve had very few calls throughout the year here. There’s no reason to be alarmed. The situation is contained.”

Investigators responded after police received a call about a suspicious incident around 5:30 p.m. and found two bodies inside a home, ABC Action News reported.


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Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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