On Friday, March 6, 2020, based on a tip, Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives discovered the bodies of 33-year-old Raymond Mark Cline and 37-year-old Crystal Ann Cline in a low lying wooded area behind their residence at 3500 Windy Hill Rd Friday evening, March 6, 2020. Based upon the state of decomposition of the bodies, they had been deceased for some time. It appeared that they had been shot and their bodies dumped in the swampy area. The couple were married.
Through their investigation, detectives learned that Raymond Cline regularly scrapped metal up until February 21, 2020, which is the last time he scrapped any metal. Raymond Cline and Crystal Cline were unable to be reached by phone since that time, and family members had not seen nor heard from either one in several weeks.
Based on statements from witnesses and interviews, detectives learned that 19-year-old Amberlyn Nichols, also of 3500 Windy Hill Rd., attempted to sell Raymond Cline’s truck in recent days. She told at least one witness that she knew that Raymond and Crystal had been murdered and that their bodies were dumped behind their residence in a swampy area.
Detectives learned that Nichols alleged that Raymond Cline stole money from Todd Michael Jackson, who Amberlyn says is her stepfather. She said that Todd Jackson shot the two victims in the head as they slept at the crime scene. The two victims’ bodies were drug out of the home and dumped in the swamp located behind the residence.
Detectives have learned that Larry James Waters Jr., Amberlyn Nichols’ boyfriend, also helped clean the crime scene and dispose of the bodies.
Detectives have also interviewed a person who claimed he/she was at the residence when Raymond and Crystal Cline were murdered. The witness said he/she observed Todd Jackson pointing a firearm (handgun) at the victims and then shoot both victims.
Detectives have interviewed both Amberlyn Nichols and Larry Waters, Jr.both admitted that they had knowledge of the murder, knew that both Raymond and Crystal were deceased and their bodies dumped behind the house, and did not report this to law enforcement. Nichols admitted that she was attempting to sell Raymond’s truck.
According to authorities, Nichols claimed Jackson and Raymond Cline were friends who fell out over money a $30,000 debt.
Both suspects were arrested:
Amberlyn Nicole Nichols, 19, 3500 Windy Hill Rd., Haines City, FL, Accessory After the Fact (1 count), Dealing in Stolen Property (1 count), Failing to Report a Death (2 counts);
Larry James Waters, Jr., 19, 3500 Windy Hill Rd., Haines City, FL, Accessory After the Fact (1 count), Failing to Report a Death (2 counts).
Detectives obtained a warrant for two counts First Degree Murder for the arrest of Todd Michael Jackson, 34, 1020 Plateau Ave., Lakeland, FL. He was found near his residence on Saturday evening, March 7, 2020, and taken into custody without incident.
All three suspects are being held in the Polk County Jail on no bond.