Lee Rodarte Jr Biography Lee Rodarte Jr Wiki
A Florida man is going to spend 40 years in prison for murdering a colleague who disappeared in 2017.
Lee Rodarte Jr., 30, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last month after admitting to killing 21-year-old Savannah Gold in 2017. Rodarte was the culinary director of a bonefish grill in Jacksonville. He had a constant relationship with Gold, who also worked at the restaurant.
Oh, Dear Lord…
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Prosecutors and defense attorneys negotiated a 40-year prison sentence, which counts for the time served. A judge approved the deal Thursday afternoon.
The gold disappeared after arriving for work in August 2017 but never entered the building. His car without his key was later found in the parking lot; He cut a tire and his bag was in the front seat.
The Jacksonville Sheriff was watching the surveillance tape from the parking lot. In a press release at the time, authorities said Gold arrived for work at 5:31 p.m. that day. She then climbed into the passenger seat of Rodarte’s vehicle and “at 5:45 p.m. video surveillance shows what appears to be a possible fight in the vehicle.”
After the apparent altercation, the sheriff said Rodarte was “seen walking toward the victim’s vehicle, opening the driver’s door and leaning over.”
A few minutes later, the video showed Rodarte driving away with gold in the vehicle, authorities said.
Hours after Gold’s disappearance, her family received strange text messages on her phone, presumably from her.
“Hey, I just wanted to tell you and your mom that I met a great boy and that we will run away together,” she read a message to her father, Daniel Gold, according to a missing person report. “I love it and we’re leaving tonight. I’ll call you later when we’re where we’re going.”
Other relatives and friends said they had received similar messages and relatives immediately became suspicious.
“The spelling has been completely destroyed,” Daniel Gold told local television station WJAX. “It sounded really strange.”
Investigators believe the text message actually started after Gold’s death and was sent by Rodarte.
After the family started digging for gold, Rodarte helped them find “missing persons” brochures and even distributed them.
When authorities questioned Rodarte days after his disappearance, he changed his story several times before confessing to the crime. He claimed that he killed the gold in the parking lot before dumping his body in a nearby lake. Later, a team of divers found his remains.
With Rodarte behind bars, the Gold family say they are beginning to recover from the tragedy
“For our family, extended family and community, our hearts have begun to heal because of his love and support,” Daniel Gold said in a statement to Action News Jacksonville after the hearing. “We love Savannah, and we never realized how many of you love her too.”