Slaying suspect caught

This man is suspected of robbing the D&V Convenience Store in Adams Run and killing the clerk.

The man suspected of killing three South Carolina women, including an Adams Run convenience-store clerk, is in custody after authorities tracked him down in Florida.

Jeffrey N. Eaddy, 30, of New Zion, was arrested in Mexico Beach, Fla., Saturday afternoon. “An intensive and dangerous manhunt” for Eaddy was underway all day Saturday, according to Bay County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Tommy Ford in a press release.

The search, which involved Florida’s state police as well as several counties and municipalities’ law enforcement agencies, heated up when Eaddy was spotted on a highway near Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, according to officials.

He surrendered in Mexico Beach after two officers saw him trying to hide behind a building in the Ford Focus he was driving, according to The News Herald in Panama City.

A Bay County sheriff’s official told the newspaper they suspected that Eaddy had stayed Friday night at a beach location, where officers recovered evidence that may be linked to the South Carolina homicides.

He also said the Ford Focus they recovered possibly belonged to one of the victims, and that they were securing the car and waiting for evidence to be processed.

Charleston County sheriff’s detectives drove to Bay County Saturday night to interview Eaddy, according to Maj. Jim Brady.

A surveillance camera captured a picture of the suspect Thursday as he left the D&V Convenience store where authorities said he robbed the store and killed its clerk, Crystal Johnson, 37, of Adams Run.

Eaddy also is accused of killing Maybell White, 65, at a recycling business in Clarendon County. On Thursday, White’s daughter found her body after not being able to reach her mother by phone.

Deputies also want to talk to Eaddy about another woman, Sadie Brown, 77, of New Zion, who was reported missing Thursday by her caregiver. Sheriff’s officials said she lived near the recycling center. On Saturday night during a press conference, Clarendon County Sheriff Randy Garrett said he was sure Brown is dead and that Eaddy will be charged with three counts of murder, according to WLTX, a Columbia-based television station.

On Saturday night, it remained unclear which agency will take custody of Eaddy.

Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or