Police Arrest Second Person In “Ambush” Slaying Of Truck Driver
Apopka, Florida – On Monday authorities announced the arrest of a second person in connection to the slaying of an Apopka truck driver earlier this year.
47-year-old Elias Bratcher was found shot to death in his vehicle near his home in the early morning hours of March 24, 2019.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said it apprehended 34-year-old Buford McKinney, of Knoxville, in Tennessee last Friday, June 28, in connection with Bratcher’s death.
McKinney is now facing a second-degree murder charge as well as his suspected accomplice 30-year-old Katrina Kelly.
Kelly is Bratcher’s stepdaughter and was arrested by U.S. Marshals on Tuesday, June 18, at a residence in the Fore Ranch area in Marion County, according to officials.
Police said they do not expect to make any further arrests in the case.
Bratcher’s wife, Deborah, answered a call to Bratcher’s phone in the early morning hours of March 24 from someone identifying as law enforcement.
According to investigators, that unidentified person told Deborah the trailer doors on Bratcher’s tractor-trailer were open.
Bratcher routinely parked his big rig around the corner from their Apopka, FL, home on Marden Road.
When he went to check on the situation he was “ambushed” Deborah told local news outlet Fox35.
After Bratcher did not immediately return, Deborah drove the short distance to discover her husband in the driver’s seat of his Kia Soul covered in blood.
“I saw the bullet holes in the window. I say, ‘Oh God, I hope he’s not here.’ I got out of the car. I open the driver’s window. Oh God. They shot him in the head and I don’t know where else they shot him at,” she said to Fox35.
According to investigators, a resident in the area reported hearing seven shots at 3:25 a.m.
The witness claims she saw brake lights and headlights along with someone wearing a hat come to the passenger’s side of Bratcher’s Kia.
She heard one or two more shots and saw another vehicle parked on the side of the road, according to officials.
Bratcher was pronounced dead at the scene at 4:43 a.m.
Police have yet to provide details about what may have motivated Kelly and McKinney to kill Bratcher.
According to police, Deborah said someone had been making allegations against Bratcher for years in an effort to convince her to divorce him.
The police report redacts that person’s identity.
We will update you as we continue to learn more.