FDLE: Man indicted by grand jury in Lyft driver homicide

For Immediate Release
September 13, 2023
OKEECHOBEE COUNTY, Fla. – Following an FDLE investigation, an Okeechobee County grand jury Tuesday indicted Mathew Scott Flores, 36, of Wauchula, on charges of first-degree premeditated murder with a firearm, robbery with a firearm, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
While assisting with a Wauchula homicide investigation in January, FDLE special agents linked Flores to the murder of 74-year-old Gary Levin of Palm Beach Gardens.
During the investigation, Fort Myers Regional Operations Center (FMROC) special agents were able to connect Flores to a vehicle stolen out of Orange County and found in Lake Worth.
While in Lake Worth, Flores asked for a Lyft ride to be ordered to take him to Okeechobee. Mr. Levin responded to the Lyft request and picked up Flores.
Two days later, Palm Beach Gardens Police Department received a missing person report for Mr. Levin.
Following an exhaustive search by FDLE agents, Flores was found driving Mr. Levin’s Lyft vehicle in Rutherford County, North Carolina. 
After a brief vehicle pursuit, Flores was taken into custody by North Carolina Highway Patrol and Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office. On February 4, 2023, FDLE agents found Mr. Levin’s body in a wooded lot in Okeechobee County.
Special Agent in Charge Eli Lawson said, “The crime was senseless, calculating, and cold. Mr. Levin was a beloved member of the Palm Beach Gardens community. He was a father and a friend. His loved ones have experienced an insurmountable amount of grief that no one should ever have to go through. "
The 19th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.
Flores was extradited from Rutherford County Jail to Hardee County Jail on August 8, 2023. See news release here:
For Further Information Contact:
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Priorities

FDLE is composed of five areas: Executive Direction and Business Support, Criminal Investigations and Forensic Science, Criminal Justice Information, Criminal Justice Professionalism and Florida Capitol Police. FDLE’s duties, responsibilities and procedures are mandated through Chapter 943, FS, and Chapter 11, FAC. To learn more about these areas, read our Statement of Agency Organization and Operation or visit our Open Government page.