JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Officials have arrested a man in connection to the death of an 'executive assistant' who disappeared last week in Winter Park, Florida.
On Monday, for the first time, Winter Park Police called Scott Edward Nelson a suspect in the death of Jennifer Fulford. They say they are thrilled to have him in custody. Winter Park's police chief, Michael Deal, praised his Jacksonville colleagues for helping catch Nelson at the Sunshine Inn in Jacksonville.
“This is an outstanding example of law enforcement working together to solve a terrible crime and get a bad guy off the street,” Deal said at a news conference.
Fulford's family also spoke out for the first time. Fulford's daughter, Hanna Geist, said in a statement that
"Scott Nelson was arrested. We couldn't be happier... we are doing the best we can... we encourage everyone to continue to donate to the GoFundMe as we have no idea when we will return to normal life. We want to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts."
Nelson, 53, who has a long criminal history, is being held without bond. Danny Banks, a special agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, says they're also on the case.
“FDLE has assigned agents, supervisors, investigative analysts, and forensic analysts from both our Orlando and Jacksonville offices to support the Winter Park Police Department in their case,” Banks said.
Mark Sutherland, a neighbor of Fulford's, says Nelson wasted his chance to stay on the right side of the law.
“A chance to turn over a new leaf,” Sutherland said “unfortunately, many times there's no new leaf. It's the same leaf, and unfortunately in this case it affects good people.”
Investigators say Nelson took an Amtrak to Jacksonville from Orlando. They could not say whether he used Fulford's cash to pay for the ticket and the hotel. Nelson was caught on camera trying to use Fulford's bank card to get money from an ATM.
This came after Fulford went missing from her employer's Winter Park mansion on Wednesday. Police announced they found her body near Apopka-Vineland road, Saturday afternoon. Police have still not announced how Fulford died.
Fulford's family asks everyone with pictures of her to continue to post them online and "light up the internet" with her smiles.