Central Florida man accused of killing 72-year-old landlord over rent

Erick Niemi arrested in Palm Coast

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PALM COAST, Fla. - Flagler County sheriff's detectives said an apparent argument over rent and living arrangements resulted in the death of a 72-year-old Palm Coast man.

Deputies said the man, identified as Leonard Lynn, was slain by his tenant, 42-year-old Eric Niemi.

Deputies said they found Lynn in the bedroom of his home at 76 Ryken Lane after family members became concerned because they could not get a hold of him.

Deputies said they were called to the home around 6 p.m. Saturday but could not get into the home and discovered his car was missing.

A relative from Jacksonville arrived around 9 p.m., let deputies inside and that is when they found Lynn dead from blunt-force trauma, officials said.

Deputies said they believe Lynn was killed sometime Wednesday.

Niemi was located a short time later in possession of Lynn's vehicle, deputies said.

Deputies said Niemi had been renting a room from Lynn.

Deputies said after questioning by detectives, Niemi confessed and was charged with second degree murder and one count of grand theft auto. He is currently at the Flagler County Jail.

"This was a tragic and senseless death. Hopefully the quick resolution of this case will allow Mr. Lynn's family to start the healing process," said Sheriff James L. Manfre.

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