NR 14-93 Suspect Arrested in Titusville Homicide

October 17, 2014 - 3:05 pm Author: Category:

nr 14-93Homicide agents from the Sheriff’s Office have arrested a Leesburg man in the homicide of 24-year-old Jennifer Hedges. 44-year-old Lance David Berning of 16 Hawaiian Way, Leesburg was arrested today after an arrest warrant was issued charging him with First Degree Murder.  Berning was taken to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office where he is being held without bond pending extradition to Brevard County.

The investigation was initiated on Thursday, October 9, 2014, when Deputies were summoned to the shore of the Indian River in Titusville after a boater located an object believed to be a human body.  The Sheriff’s Dive Team responded to the site and recovered the partially submerged body.  An autopsy later determined the death to be a Homicide.

The break in the case came early this week when information was provided to Sheriff’s agents from detectives with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.  Detectives in Lake County provided information that identified Berning along with specific information about the crime scene and evidence that had not been released by law enforcement.  Agents from Brevard County travelled to Lake County where the investigation of Berning has been ongoing for several days.  That investigation culminated today with the issuance of the warrant for Berning’s arrest.

Agents believe that Berning, who previously resided in Titusville, travelled to Brevard County where he picked up the victim on the street in Titusville.  Berning drove the victim to a remote area where the two engaged in a sexual relationship.  The encounter turned violent with Berning killing the victim.  After the incident, Berning drove the victim to a location south of Titusville along the Indian River where he disposed of the body in the river.

Agents have recovered a vehicle belonging to Berning, which is being transported back to Brevard County for processing by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, Crime Scene Unit.

Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to call Agent Wayne Simock of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit at 321-633-8413 or CRIMELINE at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).  All calls to CRIMELINE are confidential, and callers can remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward.

For additional information concerning this investigations, please contact Major Tod Goodyear by pager through the Sheriff’s Office Communications (321) 633-7162.