Felix Molina, 42, has been charged with first-degree murder in the beating deaths of his parents in their west Lakeland mobile home, according to an arrest affidavit.

The bodies of Francisco and Ada Molina, ages 69 and 72, were found by police early Sunday in the living room of their Kings Manor home after a relative asked them to check on the couple.

Lakeland police said they learned that the couple’s van, which went missing around the time of the murders, was being driven in Tampa by Felix Molina. The van was recovered Thursday by members of the Tampa Police Department, who then located and arrested Molina near Nebraska Avenue.

More coverage: News Channel 8

Molina told police he beat his parents with a hard object on the night of Aug. 6 after his mother complained about his drug use ruining their lives, according to an arrest affidavit. He was living with his parents at the time.

In the next two days, family members became suspicious because nobody had heard from the couple and a bank account Ada Molina shared with her grandson had been drained. They contacted police, leading to Sunday morning’s discovery of the bodies.

NOON UPDATE: Police Chief Ruben Garcia discussed the arrest at a news conference this morning:

The arrest affidavit:

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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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