COLLIER COUNTY — More details have emerged surrounding last week’s killing of a Golden Gate man, but Collier deputies have yet to release any information about leads or suspects in the case.
Jacquelin Francois, 44, was found dead in an East Naples shed on the afternoon of June 9, little more than 24 hours after his girlfriend saw him for the last time, and just three hours after she filed a missing persons report with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.
One crime may have led to another.
According to the incident report, the homicide was committed by a person engaged in or attempting to engage in another crime. The statute listed on the report could refer to any of 17 crimes, which include robbery, kidnapping, drug trafficking, or carjacking, among others.
The killing was not premeditated, the same report stated.
Two men found Francois’ body laying face down in a shack at the north end of 3170 Polly Ave., according to police reports and the 911 call that alerted law enforcement.
“We got scared as soon as we walked in here,” one of the men told a dispatcher.
One deputy wrote that there was a “puddle of blood” at Francois’ head.
The sheriff’s office has not confirmed the cause of death, however, Francois’ family said last week that they were told by deputies that he had been shot.
Francois, originally from Haiti, raised a son, daughter, and two stepdaughters in Golden Gate. He was also a grandfather of two.
When he did not show up for work as a dishwasher at Miller’s Ale House in Naples on June 8, Francois’ employer contacted his girlfriend, Lashavea Warren. After fruitless attempts to reach him on his cell phone throughout the night, Warren called police early Thursday morning.
Neither she nor Francois’ family members have any inclination as to how he ended up at the East Naples property that day when the last thing he told Warren was that he was headed to meet someone in downtown Naples before work.
The next known time that anyone saw Francois was the next day, when his body was discovered.
In a heavily redacted copy of the 911 call, made available by the Sheriff’s Office after a public record’s request, two male callers tell the dispatcher they were at the Polly Avenue property unloading refrigeration, air conditioning and electrical items that Thursday afternoon. When they got thirsty, they headed to the shed to get some water and saw Francois on the ground.
One witness told deputies that he kicked Francois’ feet and said, “time to go.” The 911 call reflects the same story.
“Are you sure he’s dead?” the dispatcher asked.
“Yeh, he’s dead... he’s dead, right?” the caller asked someone near him.
“Aww man I just walked in there, I wanted to see...” said a second male voice. “I kicked him on his feet and he didn’t move.” That same person observed a heavy odor in the shed.
There was a white Nissan on the property when the two men arrived that afternoon, and it was a vehicle that the primary caller had never seen before. The white 2001 Nissan Maxima belonged to Francois. One of the car doors was open, the caller said, so he shut it.
The sheriff’s office could not confirm which car door was open or how and where Francois was killed, citing the ongoing investigation.
“We are continuing to talk to people and developing leads,” said Karie Partington, spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office.
The Polly Avenue property is owned by James Desear, who told the Daily News last week he agreed several months before the incident to allow a “long-time friend” to park a trailer on the land. That friend began storing other equipment there as well. Desear, who owns an electrical company, said the two men who found Francois’ body were not his employees, but were affiliated with his friend.
The day before Francois’ body was found, Desear visited the property to talk with that long-time friend. He did not see a car resembling Francois’; he also did not enter either the barn or the shed on site while visiting.
Desear said that he had never met or seen Francois before. Francois, he said, “was as stranger as you can get to me.”