Quantcast

Investigation continues into murder of Lakeland teen - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Investigation continues into murder of Lakeland teen

Posted: Updated:
Area where 17-year-old Damarco Powell was found early Saturday. Area where 17-year-old Damarco Powell was found early Saturday.
Area where 17-year-old Damarco Powell was found early Saturday. Area where 17-year-old Damarco Powell was found early Saturday.
Area where 17-year-old Damarco Powell was found early Saturday. Area where 17-year-old Damarco Powell was found early Saturday.
Area where 17-year-old Damarco Powell was found early Saturday. Area where 17-year-old Damarco Powell was found early Saturday.
Morris Chestang has lived in his Lakeland neighborhood since 1971 and said recently its safety has become threatened. Chestang lives near where the body of a 17-year-old man was found Saturday morning. Police ruled it a homicide. Morris Chestang has lived in his Lakeland neighborhood since 1971 and said recently its safety has become threatened. Chestang lives near where the body of a 17-year-old man was found Saturday morning. Police ruled it a homicide.
LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -

Lakeland Police are investigating whether the Saturday morning murder of a 17-year-old may have been gang related.

Police say 17-year-old Damarco Powell was found dead in a ditch east of the railroad tracks at Atline Road early Saturday morning. His mother had reported him missing only a couple of hours before.

A passerby noticed the body and alerted authorities. Police aren't saying how Powell died.

And while police aren't officially calling Saturday's homicide gang-related, they do say it's something they're looking into.

From his backyard, Morris Chestang sees people walk through the Atline Road shortcut every day.

“My son went through there for years when he was going to school,” Chestang said.

But in his more than 40 years living in the neighborhood, he's noticed lately the traffic is changing.

“It’s still a shortcut for most people. But for a few, it's an opportunity to commit some sort of crime,” he said.

The signs are clear: graffiti clutters the fencing intended to keep people out. And no matter how many times a barrier goes up-it comes back down.

It's gone from an eye-sore to a serious concern, especially after Saturday's killing.

Lakeland PD’s Sgt. Gary Gross said many suspect gang-activity led to the homicide.

“We're not saying either way- but it's something we're looking at,” Gross said.

The suspicions are based mostly off the Facebook page of the victim, 17-year-old Damarco Powell, whose photos primarily show him with guns, making signs, and showing off what appears to be drugs.

“That doesn't always mean just because a young man is dressed like a gang member or show the signs that he's a gang member,” Gross said. “Sometimes they want to represent themselves as something that they're not. We’re not going to use that as information only. We're going to dig and dig and dig,” Gross added.

That kind of police work is just what Morris Chestang wants. He hopes it will help bring back the neighborhood he remembers.

“It has been as a history very safe and quiet, however we have been slowly sliding downhill through more and more problems,” Chestang said.

Copyright 2014 WFLA  All Rights Reserved

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Community reaches out to Spring Hill family after theft of lawn equipment

    Community reaches out to Spring Hill family after theft of lawn equipment

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:41:35 GMT
    Michael Depace wants to say "thank you" and give a huge hug to everyone that reached out after a thief stole $3,500 worth of lawn equipment from him.
    Michael Depace wants to say "thank you" and give a huge hug to everyone that reached out after a thief stole $3,500 worth of lawn equipment from him.
  • FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:48:49 GMT
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
  • Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:48:06 GMT
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Palm Harbor strip club hit & run victim makes plea

    Palm Harbor strip club hit & run victim makes plea

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:33 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:33:46 GMT
    New video shows the violent incident early Friday morning, outside "Silks" strip club on US 19 in Palm Harbor. Bouncer Doug Berube and the club DJ. wanted to talk to a guy in a car about an earlier incident. The driver shoved it in reverse, hit the gas, and backed over Berube. He has a plea for the driver....
    New video shows the violent incident early Friday morning, outside "Silks" strip club on US 19 in Palm Harbor. Bouncer Doug Berube and the club DJ. wanted to talk to a guy in a car about an earlier incident. The driver shoved it in reverse, hit the gas, and backed over Berube. He has a plea for the driver....
  • Land O' Lakes man: troopers saved my life

    Land O' Lakes man: troopers saved my life

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:41:51 GMT
    A Pasco County man credits two Florida Highway Patrol troopers with saving his life. A Pasco County man credits two Florida Highway Patrol troopers with saving his life.
    Chris Henry calls two Florida Highway Patrol Troopers heroes. He believes they saved his life.
    Chris Henry calls two Florida Highway Patrol Troopers heroes. He believes they saved his life.
  • Community reaches out to Spring Hill family after theft of lawn equipment

    Community reaches out to Spring Hill family after theft of lawn equipment

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:41:35 GMT
    Michael Depace wants to say "thank you" and give a huge hug to everyone that reached out after a thief stole $3,500 worth of lawn equipment from him.
    Michael Depace wants to say "thank you" and give a huge hug to everyone that reached out after a thief stole $3,500 worth of lawn equipment from him.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

3221 South Evans Street
Greenville N.C. 27834

Telephone: 252.355.8500
Fax: 252.355.8568
Email: newsdesk@wnct.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.