Authorities arrest man accused of abducting woman after killing family member

Samuel Thomas was arrested in Citrus County

SUMTER COUNTY, Fla. – Deputies have found and arrested a man who was wanted after abducting a woman Saturday morning.

Deputies with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office went to an address in the Beville’s Corner area of Bushnell at about 6:30 a.m. Saturday regarding a report of shots fired.

Officials said deputies discovered a 14-year-old boy dead in the home.

At that time, the deputies determined that the suspect, identified by the Sheriff’s Office as Samuel Marvin Thomas, 48, had abducted his ex-girlfriend and fled the area, officials said.

Detectives began following leads and conducting interviews. Officials said at about 11:59 a.m., the abduction victim was able to escape in the Wildwood/Coleman area, where deputies found her safe.

With the victim’s help, detectives were able to obtain an updated vehicle description of the suspect, officials said. Within minutes, a detective found the alleged suspect vehicle heading west on State Road 44 in Citrus County.

With the assistance of the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, officials said a pursuit ensued, at which time Thomas drove the stolen vehicle he was occupying into Lake Spivey.

Officials said Thomas attempted to swim away. However, pursuing deputies were assisted by a boater, and Thomas was quickly captured.

Thomas was arrested on charges including first-degree murder, kidnapping, armed burglary and fleeing to elude, officials said.

Thomas was taken to Citrus Memorial Hospital for precautionary evaluation. Officials said that upon his release, he will be booked into the Citrus County Jail and await extradition back to Sumter County.

Thomas has been ordered to be held in custody under no bond, officials said.

Anyone who has any information about the case is asked to call Detective Brent Sargent at 352-569-1618. Officials said tipsters can remain anonymous and call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS (8477).


The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a woman they say was abducted Saturday morning.

According to deputies, Victoria Harris was abducted by Samuel Marvin Thomas also known as “Sam” or “Bam-Bam” after deputies said he forcibly entered Harris’ home.

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Investigators said once Thomas was inside the home he killed a family member.

Thomas then fled the area and is believed to be driving a green 1999 Ford F250 Super Duty XLT with tan trim.

Deputies said Thomas is driving to an unknown location and said that Harris is in danger.

“If anyone observes the vehicle or individuals matching this description, DO NOT approach and call law enforcement immediately,” deputies said.

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