Fugitive suspects arrested in Highlands murder case - FOX 13 News

Fugitive suspects arrested in Highlands murder case

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SEBRING (FOX 13) -

Two men wanted for the murder of a 20-year-old Highlands County man have now been arrested, deputies say.

Jonathan Ray Rodriguez, 22, and Kenneth Felipe, 19, were both arrested by U.S. marshals in Orlando, Highlands County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Mark Schrader said.

Rodriguez and Felipe are the main suspects in the death of Aaron Doty, who was found Monday, not far from the home where he was last seen. Investigators say his body had been burned and buried.

The case shocked and saddened the tight-knit Sebring community.  More than 1,000 people have RSVP'd on Facebook to a Saturday night candlelight vigil in Doty's memory and, in the process, filled the page with praise and prayers for Doty and his family.

Doty's friends and family can't quite make sense of all that's happened. They can't believe they've lost Aaron to violence.  They can't believe he knew his alleged killers, and they can't believe no one stepped in to call 911.

"It's hard to lose a cousin like that.  I'm just glad justice has been done," said Bradley Doty.

He's glad an arrest has been made, but it remains difficult to understand why no one stepped in to help his cousin during the beating.

"Every one is just shocked that it happened.  There were people there that could have done something, but they didn't. They could have just easily saved a life but they didn't do it,"  Doty said. 

"I feel most of the people at the party didn't call 911 because most likely they were just intoxicated and just scared," said his friend, Rachel Smith.

Friends gathered at Grace Bible Church on Wednesday to try and make sense of the death.

"Talking to the family, talking to Aaron's mom and dad we are trying to comprehend all those kids that were there did  nothing, and as a matter of fact at the funeral Saturday after noon that's one of the things we've got to remind these kids to defend those who can't defend themselves," said pastor Andrew Catsanis.

"I hope that it haunts them in their dreams for the rest of their life that they didn't have enough courage. Just three numbers, 911 is all you have to do," said Sharon Spillane.

Rodriguez and Felipe may be transported to the Highlands County Jail as soon as Thursday. 

Doty's funeral is Saturday at Grace Bible Church and a candlelight vigil will be held Saturday night at the Sebring High School football field.   One message to be shared by friends at both: when you see someone in trouble call for help.

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