Polk man arrested for stealing from gravesite of Fostproof homicide victim

Polk man arrested for stealing from gravesite of Fostproof homicide victim
According to the sheriff’s office, while searching Wheeler’s truck, they found items from several gravesites including Tilman’s. (WFTV)

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — A Fort Meade man was arrested Monday for allegedly stealing items from the gravesite of a Polk County man murdered last July.

Detectives arrested 45-year-old Kevin Wheeler of Fort Meade after they say he stole several solar lights from the grave of Damion Tilman.

Tillman was one of three people murdered while on a fishing trip in July of 2020 near Frostproof.

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At a press conference Tuesday morning, Sheriff Grady Judd said that the investigation into Wheeler began when Roy and Elizabeth Tillman reported the theft after visiting their son’s grave Jan. 13.

According to deputies, the Tilmans placed a surveillance camera at the site after replacing the lights.

Investigators were notified by the Tillmans on Jan. 25 that they saw someone at the gravesite steal the lights and leave in a red pickup.

Deputies responding to the cemetery spotted the truck and were able to stop Wheeler as he was trying to drive away.

According to the sheriff’s office, while searching Wheeler’s truck, they found items from several gravesites including Tilman’s.

Detectives arrested Wheeler, and he was later released from the Polk County Jail on a $1,250.00 bond.