main menu page title feature menus content footer
My Florida C F O

CFO's Initiatives

Stay Connected

Follow the
Department of
Financial Services

Sign up for the CFO's
weekly newsletter!

Press Release

News   RSS RSS   Press Office   Archive

Murder and Arson Suspect Apprehended in Holmes County


Orange Lake, FL – Marion County Sheriff's detectives and aviation unit, acting in conjunction with the Holmes County Sheriff's Office, arrested Reginald V. Cochran Thursday in the panhandle town of Westville. Cochran was being sought on charges of first-degree murder and arson. Cochran was also being sought on charges of armed robbery, which was a separate incident that occurred in Marion County.

On Thursday afternoon, Marion County Detectives received an anonymous tip that lead them to a residence in Holmes County. Marion County Sheriff's Office sent their aviation unit and detectives to assist the Holmes County Sheriff's Office in the air and ground search for Cochran.

As the aviation unit passed over the residence, Cochran attempted to flee in a Green Dodge pickup that belonged to Jerry Samuels, whose body was found inside a burning Orange Lake Motel room on Tuesday evening. Cochran was apprehended and taken into custody without incident.

Cochran was transported to the Marion County Jail, where he will be held on charges of first-degree murder and armed robbery. First-degree arson charges are pending.

Investigators with the State Fire Marshal's Ocala Field Office conducted the fire scene investigation. The fire, which was confined to one room within the motel unit, was determined to have been intentionally set. Fire damage is estimated at approximately $5,000.

The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations is a law enforcement branch of the Division of State Fire Marshal that assists other state and local fire and law enforcement agencies in the investigation of fires of suspicious origin. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call 1-877-662-7766 (1-877-NOARSON) or the Marion County Sheriff's Office at 352-732-8181. Information also may be mailed to Arson Control, P.O. Box 1654, Winter Park, FL. 32790.