PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City Beach Police officers made two arrests in connection to the murder of a man who was found in a shallow grave behind an area liquor store.
According to the police, report officers were called to the area behind ABC Fine Wine and Spirits to search for a suspect who stole from the liquor store. Instead, they found a man floating face down in the pond and another man in a shallow grave.
On Thursday, beach police released the names of those victims. They identified them as John Douglas and Clifford Lowrey, both from Panama City Beach, and believed to be transients. Officers also said they had two suspects in the case but declined to release more details.
According to court documents investigators arrested at least two people in connection to the murder of Lowrey on the same day they discovered the victims and started the investigation.
Charles Strickland and Samantha Booth are currently in the Bay County Jail. Strickland is charged with murder and tampering with evidence. Booth is charged with accessory after the fact to murder and also tampering with evidence.
According to an affidavit, Booth said she witnessed Strickland beat the victim with rebar before stabbing him with it several times. She then admitted to helping Strickland move the victim’s body to a shallow grave.
Both individuals are only charged in connection to Lowrey’s death. there was no mention of John Douglas in court documents.