BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay County Sheriff’s investigators have arrested three men and searching for two others in connection to the murder of Edward Ross in Panama City Beach.
Andre Bivins,30, Joshua Campbell, 21, and Jorge Hernandez,16. were arrested. Jorge Perez, 20, and Abel Ortiz, 17, are wanted for murder, deputies said during a news conference Friday.
Investigators said the group killed Ross during a botched robbery.
The investigation began to get traction in January, said Sheriff Tommy Ford.
“On January 14 we released a video to the public of a possible suspect in a convenience store close to the scene,” Ford said. “We received a large amount of tips of related to the identity of the man in the video. We were able to identify this man as Andre Bivins, 30, of Leon County.”
The video itself proved to be a key piece of evidence.
“What’s significant about the video at the store is, we had two cars that you could see several male individuals wearing similar clothing as what was described from witnesses at the scene,” Captain Jason Daffin said. “They were communicating in the cars. It looks like they were planning something and they were in and out of the parking lot.”
Bivins and Perez are also believed to be connected to a second home invasion in Panama City, according to Panama City Police Chief Scott Ervin. No one was injured or killed in that home invasion.
Ortiz was arrested in 2018 when he allegedly threatened to shoot up Mosley High School.
The suspects also have connections to suspects responsible for home invasions in counties across The Panhandle, deputies said.
Watch the full Bay County Sheriff’s Office Press Conference below.
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One man is in custody at the Bay County Jail and deputies say he is one of the suspects responsible for Edward Ross’ death.
Ross was shot and killed in his Panama City Beach home in late December of 2019.
According to the arrest report, 21-year-old Joshua Campbell, of Panama City Beach, was arrested on February 19 and charged with an open count of murder.
Through the investigation, information was received by BCSO that Campbell was bragging about ‘banging a body’ and even went as far as providing an accurate description of how Ross was clothed when the initial 911 call came in, deputies wrote.
However, this information was never released to the public.
Campbell was interviewed on February 18 and denied being involved in the alleged homicide but deputies say he did not have a good alibi for his location.
Campbell was found on Wednesday in Tallahassee and although Campbell denied being one of the shooters on December 29, he reportedly did admit to his role as being a driver for the shooters, both to and away from the scene.
He was booked into the Bay County Jail and charged with an open count of murder.
Deputies previously said there were 3-4 people involved in this case. A second person, Andre Bivins, is currently in the Leon County Jail charged with an open count of murder in Bay County. However, the sheriff’s office has not confirmed that he is connected to this case.
The Bay County Sheriff’s Office is holding a news conference this afternoon at 1:30 p.m.