Collier deputies on Wednesday searched for a black Jeep Cherokee in connection with a double homicide in Lee County, more than two weeks after Lee deputies stopped a Bonita Springs woman seen driving a similar vehicle.
The search comes 17 days after two men were found dead in a burning SUV off a rural Lee County road east of Bonita Springs. No arrests have been made in the case, and few details have been released.
Wednesday morning, Collier dispatchers issued a “Be-On-the-Lookout,” or BOLO alert, to North Naples deputies for a black Jeep Cherokee with license plate F322LZ. The driver was wanted for questioning in the homicide case, according to the alert.
The Jeep is registered to Michael John Keller, 25, a North Naples man on bond from Lee County for an alleged purse snatching. Keller was released from Lee County Jail in July; he told deputies his home address was on Grand Canal Drive, off Wiggins Pass Road.
A man who answered the door said Keller lived at the home, but that he hadn’t seen him recently and didn’t know where he was.
Whether detectives wanted to talk to Keller or someone else with the vehicle was unclear. Lee and Collier deputies declined to talk about the alert, although a dispatcher confirmed the details.
“All I can say is we give out several BOLO’s a day for multiple reasons,” Lee County Sheriff’s Office Spokesman John Sheehan said.
The homicide victims have been identified as Daniel Leonor, 24, of San Carlos Park, and Israel Ponce, 20, of Fort Myers. Both were found on Aug. 1 inside the burning vehicle off Harrell Avenue, which is north of Bonita Beach Road and east of the Bonita Springs city line.
Detectives have not released the cause of their deaths, but the Harrell Avenue property owner who reported the scene told deputies he heard gunshots and then saw the SUV on fire.
Immediately after the discovery, Lee deputies stopped a black Jeep driven by Loraine Hundley, 27, of Bonita Springs, as Hundley pulled out of her driveway on Bonita Beach Road. She was questioned and released within hours, as was her husband, Kenneth Martin.
Deputies also detained a Lehigh Acres man last week for questioning in the case. Noe Alaniz, 35, was never arrested.
No details in the case have been released since.
Keller was arrested on July 7 after detectives sa he attempted to rip a purse and Rolex watch from the arm of a woman outside a Fresh Market grocery store in Bonita Springs. He was charged with one count each of robbery, obstructing an officer and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Deputies also arrested Rachel Ryan, 22, a Bonita Springs woman they claim drove Keller to the store. She drove a black Jeep Grand Cherokee, according to the report, but one with a different license and registration than Keller’s. Ryan is charged with accessory after the fact.
Anyone with information about the deaths of Leonor and Ponce is asked to call the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at 239-477-1000; Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-8477; or the State Fire Marshal’s Office, at 1-800-662-7766.