LAKELAND, FL – A Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) deputy conducted a traffic stop on a reported missing person’s vehicle on Friday, November 6, in the area of County Road 325 and US 1. The driver of the vehicle, later identified as 19-year-old Jo “JoJo” Lobato, fled on foot from the traffic stop. The passenger, 18-year-old Angel Lobato, remained on scene but refused to speak to law enforcement. At the time the vehicle was not reported stolen and the whereabouts of the missing person were unknown.
The vehicle was registered to a Lakeland resident that had been reported missing on November 4th and has since been found deceased. Because of the suspicious circumstances of the driver fleeing from the traffic stop involving a missing person’s vehicle, an extensive search was conducted for the driver.
Flagler County Sheriff’s Office’s Crime Scene Investigators responded to impound the car and for evidence preservation in case the owner of the car was located. The investigation did not find probable cause to charge Angel with any crimes and JoJo was not located. Flagler County detectives continued the investigation working with Lakeland Police detectives and days later the missing person’s body was discovered in Lake Wales, Florida. Authorities in Polk County are now looking for the Lobato brothers as they are now fugitives and have multiple felony warrants for grand theft of a motor vehicle, vehicle burglary, giving false information during a capital felony, tampering with evidence, and accessory after the fact of a capital investigation.
“These individuals are now persons of interest in a capital crime and are wanted fugitives from Polk County,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Thanks to an alert Flagler Deputy and good police work by our deputies and detectives, Polk County authorities now have solid leads to continue their investigation. These brothers should be considered armed and dangerous. While we do not believe they are in Flagler County any longer, if you see either of them please call us immediately and do not approach them.”
If you have any information on their whereabouts, please contact Polk County Sheriff’s Office Detective Brannon at 863-298-6200. Or if you wish to remain anonymous, contact Heartland Crime Stoppers at
1-800-226 TIPS (8477), dial **TIPS from your cell phone, or visit the website www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com and click on “Submit A Tip,” or download the free “P3tips” app on your smartphone or tablet.
Neither subject had active arrest warrant at the time of contact with FCSO deputies. The recovered vehicle is impounded at the FCSO evidence garage pending further investigation. If you see these fugitives or any suspicious activity, call FCSO at 386-313-4911 or dial 9-1-1 for emergencies.