IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Police arrest 12-year-old and teenager in killings of 3 Florida teens

In a news conference, local authorities said that the three victims knew the suspects and all were gang affiliated.

A 12 and 17-year-old are facing first degree murder charges following the deaths of three teens in Florida last month.

The arrests come virtually a week after the discovery of the three victims. All three died from gunshot injuries and their bodies were discovered within miles of each other over a three-day period, officials have said.

In a video posted to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page on April 7, Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods addressed the triple homicide. He confirmed that the 12-year-old and the 17-year-old suspects are currently in custody. A third suspect, a 16-year-old male, remains at large, though Woods said he is not a threat to the local community.

According to Woods, the three victims knew the suspects, were gang affiliated and had taken part in burglaries and robberies.

“Each and every one of them in some shape or form is associated with a gang,” Woods said. 

Woods said that the two suspects “fled the scenes but left a lot of evidence in their wake.”

“They took a life without thought,” Woods said during the conference. “They deserve the full extent of the law.”

On March 30, the first victim — 16-year-old Layla Silvernail — was discovered bleeding from a gunshot wound by the side of a road in Marion County. Silvernail was taken to a hospital, where she was later pronounced dead, police said.

The next morning, on March 31 and just half a mile from where Silvernail was found, authorities say they discovered the body of a 17-year-old boy left by the side of a road with a fatal gunshot wound. 

Yellow police tape blows in the wind near the camera in front of a small pond.
One of the scenes of the crime. Courtesy of WESH

On April 1, a dead 16-year-old girl was found inside Silvernail’s partially submerged vehicle. She’d also sustained a fatal gunshot injury. During the April 7 conference, Woods said that the two suspects in custody had confessed to shooting the third victim. Her body was found in the trunk of the car, Woods said. 

The names of the second and third victims’ have not been made public.

When later questioned if the suspects would be charged as adults, Woods said the state’s attorney’s office was reviewing the case.