Broward News

North Florida Murder, South Florida Evidence, Leads to North Pennsylvania Arrest

A multijurisdictional murder case started, it appears, when Broward sheriff's deputies responded to a Crimestoppers tip that a red Mazda truck left at the Greyhound bus stop in Fort Lauderdale was involved in a murder. The truck was registered to 76-year-old Tommy Lee Kellum of Lake City, Florida. A BSO detective phoned that county's sheriff's department to ask whether there was an open murder case involving Kellum. There wasn't, at least not until that later that day, when deputies approached Kellum's home and caught the whiff of decomposing body inside.

After they found Kellum on Tuesday, deputies didn't say what caused his death -- just that it was under investigation. Clearly, they wanted to talk to the woman with whom he'd been living, Brenda D. Watson. Suspected of taking Kellum's truck, she turned up in Erie, Pennsylvania, of all places. Investigators believe she was trying to get to Canada.

Kellum had reportedly been shot either Friday or Saturday. Still no word on a motive. Nor is it clear how the truck ended up in Broward.

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Thomas Francis