Man Linked to Missing New Bedford Teen Killed in Florida Shootout
A man wanted in connection with the disappearance of a young New Bedford woman is dead after law enforcement agents in Florida on Thursday fired shots into his car in a McDonald's parking lot, but the details are unclear and the woman remains missing.
Jalajhia Finklea, a member of the Mashpee-Wampanoag tribe, was last seen on her 18th birthday, Oct. 20, with Luis Robert Zaragoza Barbosa, 36, tribal police said in a blog post. The post suggested that the man, known as Luis Zaragoza, had abducted Finklea.
Zaragoza, 37, was described by tribal police as being six feet seven inches tall and weighing around 275 pounds. The man had several tattoos, "including Asian lettering on his bicep and a Dallas Cowboys star on his chest.”
At around 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 5, the U.S. Marshals Service Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force was attempting to take a wanted individual into custody when he "fired at least one shot from within a car in the McDonalds parking lot on Ferdon Boulevard in Crestview," the Okaloosa Sheriff's Department said on Twitter. "Officers fired shots and the fugitive, wanted on out-of-state charges for kidnapping, was deceased at the scene."
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement continues to investigate, the local sheriff's department said.
New Bedford police were reportedly on their way to Florida when the shooting occurred.
“The NBPD continues to apply extensive resources to this investigation and remains dedicated to resolving the case of missing person Jalajhia Finklea. We will continue to vigorously investigate this case and collaborate with other law enforcement agencies to pursue all information," the department said in a statement.