Juveniles charged in triple homicide of Florida teens

Posted at 11:55 AM, April 7, 2023 and last updated 4:03 PM, April 7, 2023


MARION COUNTY, Fla. (Court TV) — Two juveniles have been arrested and investigators said they are searching for a third in connection with the murders of three teenagers in Oklawaha.

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said Friday that two juveniles, ages 17 and 12, were arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Detectives are continuing to search for a 16-year-old who was also charged with first-degree murder. Court TV is not identifying the suspects due to their age.

suspect car in Marion County triple murders

This photo provided by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office shows a car belonging to murder victim Layla Silvernail. Authorities believe the suspects in three killings were in the vehicle. (Marion County Sheriff’s Office)

The three homicide victims were found over a three-day span in close proximity to each other. The first victim, Layla Silvernail, 16, was found shot on the side of the road on March 30 at approximately 10:52 p.m. She was taken to a hospital, where she later died from her injuries.

The next morning, deputies found a second person, identified only as a male juvenile, dead a half mile away from where Silvernail had been found.

On April 1, a tip led detectives to a small pond, where they found Silvernail’s car abandoned and partially submerged. A third juvenile victim was found inside the trunk of the car.

Woods said Wednesday that based on interviews and digital evidence, detectives believe the third victim, who was not identified, “was there of her own free will.” A family member identified the victim found inside the vehicle as Camille Quarles to WCJB.

“Gangs don’t go to church on Sundays and then preach the gospel for the next six days.”

Investigators said they believe the group of juveniles had been involved in a string of burglaries and robberies in the community. Woods was reluctant to say whether the group was linked to a specific gang, but said, “Basically, in simple terms: there is no honor among thieves.”

In an arrest affidavit obtained by Court TV, detectives said that the 17-year-old suspect admitted to killing one of the victims.

“When asked why he shot (the victim), (defendant) stated, ‘Because she was still alive. She was going to snitch on us all. We was all going to jail for life.'”

“We are shocked not only are the victims juveniles, but the murderers are juveniles as well,” Woods said. “Last night I had to look in the eyes of two mothers. It’s not their fault. What I saw last night was two mothers who are willing to give their sons everything. Do everything for them and give them their own lives.”

On Friday, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office announced a reward of up to $10,000 was being offered for information leading to the arrest of the third suspect in the case. The money is being offered by The United STates Marshal and the Florida Sheriff’s Association Criminal Apprehension Assistance Program.