Dixie County Murder
Even though the suspects had been arrested for almost two days, it took until Tuesday afternoon for deputies to officially identify the victim. They had to use fingerprints from an earlier arrest to identify Palmerton.
The two men charged in his death hardly knew each other. The Sheriff's Office says they could have only known each other for a couple of weeks.
Neighbors spotted Palmerton's body at the Turner Point Boat Ramp, a few miles north of Old Town Sunday morning. Deputies believe it all started Saturday night at a party in a trailer near Spiller Road when he fought with Larry Bouchard, 50, and Trevor Schrider, 29.
Witnesses say Bouchard and Schrider knocked Palmerton unconscious, threw the body in the back of this truck and drove off. When they heard a body had been found in the Suwannee River they called the sheriff's office--giving them a description of the vehicle and Bouchard's name.
Dixie County Sheriff Dewey Hatcher says it was a stroke of luck he spotted their truck turning onto S.R. 349 from U.S. 19. He says the truck was weaving so he pulled it over. He says Schrider was driving drunk and both men were arrested. That's when Hatcher got the biggest surprise of all--Scrider is wanted for assault and attempted murder charges in Central Ohio. Investigators there say Schrider intentionally set a man on fire at Schrider's home in mid-January.
He faces five charges here including premeditated murder.
"Especially something like this, it's not justifiable anyway," says Hatcher. "They were at a party together and they wind up getting into a fight and the guy gets beat to death."
The arrest may not be over. Hatcher says there may have been a third person involved. He or she was at the party and may have helped dump Palmerton's body.
By Dan Breitwieser, WCJB TV 20 News
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