Minivan driver follows woman in Ormond Beach Lowe's parking lot, police say

Incident happened 3 miles from homicide

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist, Loren Korn - Reporter

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. - An Ormond Beach Lowe's employee tells police a man in a minivan followed her Wednesday in the parking lot repeatedly demanding she get in the van.

Lynn Hockenberry, 65, says she was walking back into the store on West Granada Boulevard after her lunch break when the minivan with two men inside stopped beside her.

Hockenberry, who's worked at Lowe's for 18 years says she thought it was a customer at first.

She says the driver yelled at her, asking if she would like to get lunch with him, and telling her, "Just get in the van, and we'll get some lunch." After repeatedly declining the driver's offers, he then said "What's the matter? You don't like younger guys?" according to the police report.

She says she immediately rushed into the store and told managers.

Police reviewed video surveillance confirming her account. Police say the van did not park in at the Lowe's but drove around the lot until encountering the employee. After following the woman, the van leaves the parking lot, according to the video.

"Their intentions were to find somebody in that parking lot," Hockenberry said.

In an unrelated incident, a woman's body was found the same day in Ormond Beach about 3 miles away. Hockenberry said she was thinking about that during the encounter with the minivan.

"I had to call the police myself, so something could be done, so there is a report. I know there was an incident that happened with a young lady, finding a body and that was really on my mind," she said.

The woman describes the driver as a white man with a dark tan, 30-to-35 years old with brown eyes and short black hair. The passenger is white, also 30-35 years old with a full beard and mustache.

The van is possibly a Dodge minivan in a maroon or dark red color, police say.

A Lowe's spokesman said the store's team is working with law enforcement officers.

"Lowe’s has safety measures in place at all of our stores, and we’ve taken additional security steps in Ormond Beach for the safety of our employees," Lowe's communications manager Steve Salazar said. "We’re actively working to learn more about what occurred and will work closely with law enforcement to help with their investigation."

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