Polk County Sheriff`s Office solves 1972 “John Doe” homicide


Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives have solved and closed a murder investigation that started 52 years ago in unincorporated Eloise. Detectives have identified the victim using advanced forensic genetic genealogy, and uncovered the two suspects responsible for the murder, both of whom are dead.

Crime scene map in 1972
Prison informant Charles Williams

On May 17, 1972, Polk deputies responded to a reported body found in a field just to the south of the canal between Lake Lulu and Lake Ship, and southeast of the US 17 overpass from Eloise to Winter Haven. A person fishing in the area discovered the victim.

Deputies found the body of a white male estimated to be in his 40s to 50s in advanced stages of decomposition. There was no wallet and no identification on the body. There were 2 small caliber gunshot wounds to left side of the head and 1 exit wound to right side of the head.

No leads or witnesses were identified during the initial investigation. The unidentified body was buried in a pauper’s grave in Lakeside Memorial Cemetery in Winter Haven.

Suspect Edgar Todd

In January of 1974, Polk investigators were contacted by Charles Williams, an inmate in the Florida State prison system. He claimed that in November of 1973 he was in Raiford Prison (Union Correctional Facility in Raiford, Florida) with Clarence Ingram. Williams said Clarence Ingram told him the following:

Suspect Clarence Ingram

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