Daughter of Missing South Florida Lyft Driver Confirms He Has Died

The daughter of a 74-year-old South Florida Lyft driver who went missing late last month said his remains have been found, just days after a murder suspect who was driving his car was arrested following a chase in North Carolina.

Gary Levin hadn’t been heard from since Jan. 30, when his family said he picked up a customer in Delray Beach.

On Tuesday, Levin’s daughter, Lindsay DiBetta, posted on social media that her father has died.

“At this time my family and I are asking for privacy so we can process the unfortunate information we have received,” DiBetta wrote. “My dad was truly a one of kind person, if you knew him or even met him once you know exactly what I mean when I say that. The stories I have received about him from friends, family and complete strangers over the last week have lifted me up more than you can ever realize. We will be announcing information on services in my father’s honor in the next few days.”

DiBetta had said last week that Levin took an unknown customer to Okeechobee, a small city on the edge of Lake Okeechobee, and completed the ride sometime after 4 p.m. on Jan. 30.

The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office said human remains were found in a wooded area on Feb. 4 and were identified by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on Saturday, but said they weren’t releasing the victim’s identity.

Levin’s red 2022 Kia Stinger was spotted in Miami the day he went missing before it traveled to Lake Okeechobee and then north Florida.

The vehicle was spotted on Feb. 2 in North Carolina after the U.S. Marshal’s regional task force asked authorities to be on the lookout.

The driver, Matthew Flores, was arrested following a police chase through three counties, Rutherford County, North Carolina Sheriff Aaron Ellenburg said.

Ellenburg said North Carolina state troopers used stop sticks to halt the vehicle in Ellenboro. The sheriff said Flores fled briefly on foot before he was apprehended and taken to a hospital for an evaluation. He was later booked into the county jail, and the vehicle was taken to a secure location, the sheriff said.

Flores was facing charges in North Carolina that include eluding law enforcement, speeding and intoxicated driving.

He is also a suspect in a slaying on Jan. 24, nearly a week before Levin went missing, in southwest Florida.

Flores is facing a second-degree murder charge and other counts stemming from the fatal shooting last month of Jose Carlos Martinez in Wauchula. A woman who authorities said assisted Flores in fleeing from police, Stephanie Velgara, will be charged with being an accessory after the fact in the Martinez killing.

Authorities are investigating how Flores obtained the missing Lyft driver’s car. Levin’s family said they do not know whether Flores was the passenger Levin picked up in Delray Beach.