Person of interest in Jennifer Fulford's death apprehended in Jacksonville

by: Chip Skambis Updated:

ORLANDO, Fla. - The man who Winter Park police have identified as a person of interest in the disappearance and death of an Altamonte Springs woman was apprehended in Jacksonville. 

Scott Nelson, 53, was seen using the debit card of Jennifer Fulford, who was found dead Saturday, earlier this week, police said. 

He was apprehended Sunday evening by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at a motel on New Kings Road. 

The Berman family, which had employed Fulford as a caretaker, released the following statement: 

We wish to express our profound gratitude to the Winter Park Police Department and the other Central Florida law enforcement agencies that worked tirelessly to find the man who is believed to have taken the life of Jennifer Fulford. Our hearts are broken, but we are encouraged that the perpetrator of this heinous crime will now be brought to justice.

Investigators said Nelson's last known address was the Orlando Union Rescue Mission.

Residents at the Orlando Union Rescue Mission expressed shock when told that Nelson may have lived there. 

"It's very uncomfortable that a person like that would stay in a facility like this,” said Hector Negron, a resident.

Read: Person of interest in the death of Jennifer Fulford has violent criminal past, records show

Nelson is no stranger to law enforcement. 

According to federal court records, Nelson has served prison sentences for two robberies—one in Vermont in 1994 and one in Daytona Beach in 2010. 

Police: Missing woman's body found; person of interest identified

Nelson attacked his father and forced him to rob a Vermont bank in 1994, federal records show.

While in prison, Nelson was disciplined for violent conduct, “including 11 instances of assault without serious injury, two instances of possession of a dangerous weapon and 15 reports of threatening bodily harm.” 

Watch: Winter Park Police chief gives update on missing woman

Nelson violated his probation upon being released in 2008 when he fled his parole officer, records show. He was eventually released from federal prison in 2010—11 days before robbing a bank in Daytona Beach.

In December 2010, Nelson entered a Wachovia bank on West International Speedway Boulevard and handed an employee a three-page handwritten note stating everyone in the bank would die unless he received all the “paper money” in the bank. 

Read: Person of interest remains at large after nanny goes missing in Winter Park

Nelson also claimed to have with him a bomb, a .45-caliber handgun, a stun gun and pepper spray.

After receiving a large amount of cash, Nelson fled the bank on foot, leaving behind a device resembling a homemade bomb. He was captured in the bank’s parking lot by officers from the Daytona Beach Police Department.

Watch: File footage of Scott Nelson's 2010 Daytona Beach robbery

He pleaded guilty to bank robbery with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 7 years in federal prison.

He was released in mid-May. 

Source: Winter Park Police Department
Source: Winter Park Police Department

Nelson used an ATM to access Fulford’s bank account, police said.

Police released a photo Thursday of Nelson wearing a shirt with a logo from a nearby personal training facility near the Well's Fargo bank where money was withdrawn from Fulford's account. 

On its Facebook page, the company, Workout 32789, said that the person of interest had never been to the facility.

"The person of interest featured in the media photo has never been an employee or client of this studio," the Facebook post said.

No one was available at Workout 32789's Pennsylvania Avenue facility for comment Friday.

Fulford was last heard from shortly before 11:45 a.m. Wednesday at a home at East Webster Avenue and Golfview Terrace across from the Winter Park Country Club, Winter Park police Sgt. Garvin McComie said.

Read: Judge denies 'stand your ground' motion in fatal beating of Winter Park boy

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