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Port Charlotte murder suspect found dead in the woods

Accused of killing his wife on Dec. 26
Fidel Fletcher
Posted at 8:26 PM, Jan 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-23 20:26:01-05

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — The Charlotte County Sheriff's Office says the body of a murder suspect has been found in the woods.

Deputies say Fidel Fletcher was found on Jan. 19 near Guild Street and Peachland Boulevard. The call to deputies originally came in as a body being discovered.

The Medical Examiner's Office identified Fletcher as the person found dead. At the time he was found, deputies say because of the decomposition, they could not identify him immediately.

Deputies say evidence suggests he took his own life, however his cause and manner of death has not been determiend yet.

Fletcher had been on the run since December 26, 2023 after CCSO says he murdered his wife, Nicole Gates.

Fletcher took off before deputies got to the scene, which sparked a statewide search. Tips pointed investigators to DeSoto and Hillsborough counties, but they did not find him.

“I know that this outcome does not bring justice to the friends and family of Nicole, but I hope that it at least brings closure," said Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell in a statement. "And to the children who witnessed this horrific incident, I offer my deepest sympathies and this message: Please do not lose sight of what your mother would have wanted for you. Honor her by living a good life and by being a beacon for others who may one day be hurting as you are now. Charlotte County is with you.

Due to the discovery of Fletcher, the case is now closed.