Sheriff: 3 charged in 'senseless, horrific murder’ of 21-year-old Volusia County man

Jarius Cook’s body found in burning car on March 19 in DeLand

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Three people have been charged in connection with the death of a 21-year-old man found inside a burning vehicle in DeLand earlier this year, the Volusia County sheriff and state attorney announced.

Sheriff Mike Chitwood and State Attorney R.J. Larizza announced the indictments Friday during a news conference alongside the family of Jarius Cook who was shot multiple times, then discovered in the driver’s seat of a burning car on March 19.

[TRENDING: COVID-19 closes early voting location | Can you get COVID-19 twice? | Was Jennifer Kesse taken by human traffickers?]

Three suspects have been charged with first-degree murder and robbery with a firearm: Zachariah U. Sanders, 23, Fredryonna C. Grimes,18, and 17-year-old Cameron L. Lane. All three were already in jail on unrelated charges, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The 21-year-old was found dead inside a burning vehicle in the 900 block of Delaware Avenue. A $15,000 reward was offered for information leading to his killers but ultimately detectives were able to gather digital and other evidence to determine the three suspects were involved in the robbery and death of Cook, Chitwood said.

Chitwood described the accused suspects of committing an “absolutely a senseless, horrific murder of a young man,“ adding it "defies logic that a human being would do this to another human being over money, and not a lot of money at all.”

Cook’s aunt Vickie Cook Heath said the family put their trust in Det. Shon McGuire to find out what happened to her nephew.

“We prayed, we cried, and we prayed some more, and we got just what we asked for from the Lord: An indictment,” Heath said. “So now all we’re waiting for is a conviction, and we know God will do that for us as well.”

About the Author: