Son accused of helping father cover up murder of Florida woman

Posted at 11:56 AM, April 22, 2024

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. (Court TV) — Authorities say a Florida man is responsible for the murder of his wife and accuse his son of helping him cover it up.

Amber Estep was reported missing on Jan. 19 by her mother. That day, Brian Estep told Brevard County deputies he last saw his wife on Jan. 16, following an argument in their vehicle.

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(L) Brian Estep, (R) Lane Estep (Brevard County Sheriff’s Office)

According to court documents obtained by Court TV, Brian said the argument began when Amber “disclosed she had been having multiple affairs with several men.” At one point, he claimed, Amber slapped him after he called her a “whore” and demanded to be let out of the truck on the side of the highway. He claimed he didn’t try to contact her so she could have “space” and assumed she was at her mother’s home.

Just hours after Brian spoke to deputies, his pickup truck was found “engulfed in flames” in a wooded area. Deputies found Brian’s son, 18-year-old Lane Estep, at the scene. Lane claimed he drove his father’s truck to the field to ride his ATV. He told deputies the truck randomly caught fire due to a recall. Investigators later determined it had been doused in an accelerant and set on fire.

The next day, Amber’s body was found on the side of a roadway. An autopsy noted multiple gunshot wounds to Amber’s neck and face, along with a blunt force injury to her head and a fractured left arm.

Investigators used Amber’s cellphone data to pinpoint her last known location, which led them to another wooded area where human blood and projectiles from a firearm were found.

In the weeks following Amber’s death, Brian and Lane moved to West Virginia. Authorities continued their investigation, and ultimately placed Brian’s truck “within proximity of where Amber’s body was located.”

On March 28, Brian was arrested in on charges of first-degree premeditated murder with a firearm and tampering with evidence related to a capital offense.

Last week, authorities announced Lane had also been arrested in the case. An affidavit accuses Lane of helping to destroy evidence by setting his father’s truck on fire.

Lane is charged with arson in the first degree, accessory after the fact and tampering with evidence, according to jail records.