Teen's Disappearance Linked to Murder of Senior Citizen

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Police have linked the disappearance of a Florida teen with the murder of a senior citizen.

Florida officials now believe that the April 22 disappearance of Morgan Amanda Leppert, 15, of San Mateo, Fla., is linked to the murder of a 66-year-old Melrose, Fla., man found dead on Thursday, according to a news release by the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.

The body of James Thomas Stewart was found Thursday morning in his Melrose home by Putnam County Sheriff's deputies, the department said. It was apparent that foul play had occurred, officials said.

Police linked Leppert's disappearance to the death after finding Stewart's phone number on a phone belonging to the teen.

An Amber Alert was issued April 22 for Leppert and her 22-year-old boyfriend Toby Lee Lowry. Police believe Lowery stole Stewart's 2003 Toyota Tacoma with the Florida license plate 193 KLR.

Officials said the vehicle was last seen Thursday in Katy, Texas.

A warrant for Lowry's arrest has been issued on charges of grand theft auto and interference with the custody of a child. Lowry has also been named a person of interest in Stewart's death.

Leppert is described as a white woman, 5-foot-1, 114 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes. Lowry is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound white man with blonde hair and green eyes.

Autopsy results for Stewart are expected Friday afternoon.

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