Persons of interest in Polk homicide arrested in Florida

Published 5:03 pm Monday, April 4, 2016


By Leah Justice

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Polk County investigators were in route to Florida Monday to question three persons of interest in last week’s homicide.

Kwame Fernanders, Quintae Edwards and Kayla Black, who the Polk County Sheriff’s Office says may have information regarding the murder of a truck driver that took place on March 31, are in custody in Gainesville, Florida.

“They are currently being held on charges there in that state,” said Capt. Randall Hodge with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Monday afternoon. “These charges are unrelated to the homicide being investigated by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. We do have investigators en route to Florida to speak with these individuals to see if they can provide any information about the murder.”

The three are being held in Florida related to a home invasion and kidnapping, according to reports.

Destry Horne, 51, of Lilesville, N.C. was found deceased from a gunshot wound in the box truck he was driving on the on ramp of U.S. 74 off Hwy. 108 in Columbus around 6 a.m. Thursday, March 31.

The sheriff’s office issued photographs on Friday, April 1 from surveillance cameras at the BP across Hwy. 108, which is about 500 yards from where the homicide occurred around the same time. The four individuals photographed at the BP are accused of stealing the red Ford Mustang they were driving in Polk County out of Greer, S.C.

The mustang was found in Spartanburg County on Saturday, April 2 and the three are believed to have stolen another vehicle and fled to Florida. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is still searching for the fourth person of interest.

Horne was discovered after another truck driver called 911 saying he stopped on the on ramp to rest and when he got out of his truck the box truck rolled into his. When the Columbus Police Department responded to the property damage, officers found Horne deceased in the driver’s seat of the box truck. An autopsy was done on Horne on Friday, April 1 at the state medical examiner’s office in Winston Salem with the preliminary report stating Horne died from a gunshot wound. Polk County Sheriff’s Office officials said the gun used was a handgun. The 911 caller has been cleared.

The sheriff’s office issued warrants over the weekend for the arrests of Edwards, 23, and Black, 20, both believed to be from the Spartanburg, S.C. area who were seen at the Columbus BP. Both are wanted in Polk County for possession of a stolen vehicle and wanted in Spartanburg County for larceny of a motor vehicle, according to the sheriff’s office. There were two women and two men on the surveillance tapes and one woman is still being sought as a person of interest in the case who may have information.

The persons of interest were video taped between 5:15-5:45 a.m. March 31 at the BP in Columbus. Just after the homicide, a gas station was robbed in Landrum, but officials have not yet determined whether or not the crimes are connected.

Anyone with information regarding the homicide or who may have seen something in the area the morning of March 31 is urged to contact Capt. B.J. Bayne with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 828-894-3001. The sheriff’s office and the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) are investigating the homicide.


Three people investigators say are persons of interest in a Polk County homicide are in custody.

According to a press release from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Kwame Fernanders, Quintae Edwards and Kayla Black are in custody in Gainesville, Fla. for charges unrelated to the homicide, but connected to ahome invasion and kidnapping in Florida.

Investigators say those three people may have information regarding last week’s homicide that claimed the life of Destry Horne, 51.

Horne, a truck driver and maintenance tech, was found dead in the cab of his box truck on March 31 on the on ramp from Highway 108 to U.S. 74 West. Investigators say he was shot with a handgun.

On April 1, investigators released surveillance photos from a nearby gas station of four people — two men and two women — who were seen about 500 yards away from where Horne’s body was found.

Investigators say the stolen car they were driving was also spotted on that surveillance footage, and was involved in a police chase in the Upstate on April 2.

The car was ditched, but Upstate deputies say they recovered fingerprints, which matches one of the three people in custody in Florida.

Authorities believe Fernanders, Edwards and Black are the same people who were caught on camera. Deputies in Polk County continue to seek a fourth person of interest.

Polk County investigators are en route to Florida to speak with the three, who have warrants in South Carolina and North Carolina.

It’s still unclear when they’ll be extradited back to North Carolina.



s persons of interest in the murder of 51-year-old Detry Horne of Lilesville, NC are now in custody.

20-year-old Kayla Lynn Black, Kwamae Fernanders, and 23-year-old Quintae Dayrelle Edwards are in custody on unrelated charges in Gainesville, FL.

Polk Co. says they have investigators on their way to Florida to speak with them to see if they can provide any information about the murder.

The murder happened on the Hwy 74 ramp March 31st.

Deputies say they are looking for a 4th person.

She is an unidentified woman that is standing near the gas pump in the photo.

According to officials, the people shown in the photo may have information about the shooting.

The persons of interest were seen in the photographs driving an early model red Ford Mustang.

In the photograph outside of the gas station, it is the vehicle closest to the pumps.

Spartanburg Co. Sheriff’s Office thinks that Mustang is the same one that was stolen from Reliable Rides on Wade Hampton Blvd. in Greer on Thursday, March 31.

A Greer Police Department report says two men kicked in the front door and got the car keys from a desk.

If you or anyone you know has information related to this crime and may know the individuals shown, please contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 828-894-3001 and ask for Capt. BJ Byane.