Delaware State Police have arrested Justin Locke, 20, and Jeffrey Labarge, 22, both of Claymont, DE for Assault 1st Degree after an incident last weekend, according to Public Information Officer, Senior Corporal Jason Hatchell.
Hatchell said on Saturday, July 23, 2022, at approximately 11:41 pm, the Delaware State Police Troop 2 Criminal Investigative Unit began investigating a felony level assault at the Claymont Auto Repair located in the 3500 block of Philadelphia Pike in Claymont.
Due to the suspicious circumstances of the initial investigation, the Delaware State Police Homicide Unit began to assist with the investigation. During this joint investigation, it was determined that three subjects attacked a 56-year-old Claymont man in the area of Claymont Auto Repair as the victim was walking south along the sidewalk, according to Hatchell.
Hatchell said After the assault, the three assailants left the victim lying motionless on the ground of the parking lot, where the victim remained for over 25 minutes. A vehicle then pulled into the same parking lot, and subjects were observed loading the victim into the rear of an SUV. A passing motorist witnessed the men loading the victim into the SUV and called 911 to report the suspicious activity.
Three persons of interest, Justin Locke, Jeffrey Labarge, and Tyler Simpson, and the suspect vehicle were identified through various investigative leads but there was no immediate report of an assault victim or missing person, according to Hatchell.
As investigators continued to work the investigation, further information was obtained that assisted law enforcement in identifying potential areas to search in the Claymont area for the unidentified assault victim. Through these steps, the body of a deceased white male was located on the property of Citisteel USA, located north of the assault location. Following an autopsy of the victim, his manner of death was ruled a homicide. Identification of the victim is not being released at this time.
During the week of July 25th, the Delaware State Police apprehended two of the three identified suspects. On July 28, 2022, Justin Locke, was arrested on charges of Assault 1st Degree, Kidnapping First Degree, and Conspiracy 2nd Degree, arraigned in the Justice of the Peace Court #2 and committed to Delaware Corrections on a $1,000,000 cash bond. On Thursday July 28, 2022, Jeffrey Labarge was apprehended by Delaware State Police and arrested on charges of Assault 1st Degree, Kidnapping First Degree, and Conspiracy 2nd Degree, arraigned in the Justice of the Peace Court #11, and committed to Delaware Corrections on a $1,000,000 cash bond.
Locke and Labarge, who are currently in the custody of the Department of Corrections, will be charged with Murder 1st Degree. Arraignment information will be forthcoming.
The third suspect, Tyler Simpson, 22, of Wilmington, DE is still outstanding on charges of Murder 1st Degree, Assault 1st Degree, Kidnapping First Degree, and Conspiracy 2nd Degree.