Trenton man murders his aunt then flees the state
By Carrie A. Mizell
A 19-year-old Trenton man was arrested in Georgia last Thursday after he reportedly bound and strangled his aunt during an argument before stealing her vehicle and fleeing Gilchrist County.
Joshua Brandon Dyar, 19, has been charged with murder and grand theft after deputies in Treutlen County, Georgia stopped him driving his aunt, Tracey Jeannine Smith’s 1993 Jeep Cherokee.
The Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office put out a nationwide search for the missing vehicle on Wednesday evening after a friend of Smith’s, Freddy Watson found the body of the 45-year-old woman inside her home in southeast Gilchrist County just after 7 p.m. Smith’s body was reportedly found on the kitchen floor. Her hands and feet were bound with electrical cord and a plastic bag was taped over Smith’s head, explained Sheriff Daniel Slaughter.
Watson was able to give investigators a description of Smith’s red Jeep, which was missing from the home. Smith’s friend also told investigators that Dyar was living with Smith at the time. According to Watson, Smith had recently picked her nephew up from the Greyhound bus station in Chiefland and that he has lived off and on with her over the last several years. According to Sheriff Slaughter, Dyar was apprehended halfway between Macon and Savannah in Treutlen County, Georgia, which is roughly 284 miles northeast of Trenton.
Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Investigator Edwin Jenkins, along with Special Agent Jeff Vash of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement traveled to Treutlen County on Friday to interview Dyar concerning Smith’s death. Information obtained during the interview provided the officers with enough information to return Dyar to the Gilchrist County Jail, where he is currently being held. Dyar appeared before Judge David Glant over the weekend and his bond for the Grand Theft charge was set at $50,000. No bond was set for the murder charge.
Lt. David Aderholt of the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office said that prior to Dyar’s arrest for the murder of his aunt, he had only one prior misdemeanor arrest in Florida, though Dyar had been arrested and charged with Grand Theft and Burglary of a business in New Mexico.
Investigators believe that Dyar and his aunt were arguing over his unwillingness to go out and get a job at the time of the murder. While being interviewed, Dyar reportedly admitted that during the argument he approached Smith in the kitchen and strangled her with his bare hands. He then attempted to stage the murder as a burglary by tying up Smith’s body.