Family confirms that missing Palm Beach Gardens Lyft driver Gary Levin has died
PALM BEACH GARDENS — The family of missing Palm Beach Gardens Lyft driver Gary Levin confirmed Tuesday that he has died.
Lindsay DiBetta, Levin's daughter, posted on her Facebook page that services in her 74-year-old father's honor will be announced in the next few days. She did not discuss the circumstances surrounding his death and said the family is asking for privacy.
"My dad was truly a one of a kind person, if you knew him or even met him once, you know exactly what I mean when I say that," DiBetta wrote. "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."
Where is Gary Levin?Remains of man found in Okeechobee, where Lyft driver was last heard from
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office announced Saturday that they were investigating the discovery of human remains in Okeechobee, which was Levin's last known location before vanishing Jan. 30 while working for the Lyft ride-share service.
On Tuesday, FDLE reported that it had confirmed the identity of the person found in Okeechobee and notified the person's family. The agency declined to say whether the remains were those of Levin, citing a 2018 state constitutional amendment modeled after California's Marsy's Law. The amendment allows either crime victims or their relatives to request that their names be withheld from public reports.
Last week, Levin's family reported that he drove to the Delray Beach area to pick up a passenger shortly before 1:30 p.m. Jan. 30 and that his last phone communications placed him in Okeechobee about two and one-half hours later.
The Palm Beach Gardens Police Department opened a missing persons investigation after Levin's family reported him missing. On the day that Levin disappeared, highway traffic sensors placed his red 2022 Kia Stinger in Miami and later in Okeechobee. Investigators also tracked the vehicle to the Sumter County and Gainesville areas.
On the evening of Feb. 2, North Carolina state troopers found Levin's car in the possession of a man wanted on a murder charge in Hardee County in Central Florida. North Carolina troopers arrested Matthew Scott Flores, 35, after a chase across two counties west of Charlotte.
The Wauchula Police Department reported that Flores is wanted in connection with a homicide that occurred Jan. 24 in that city, 75 miles southeast of Tampa. Authorities say Flores lives in Arcadia, 25 miles south of Wauchula in neighboring DeSoto County.
DiBetta told The Palm Beach Post last week that her father moved to South Florida from Philadelphia about two years ago after retiring after a career in sales. Levin had driven for Lyft for about five years, she said.
Julius Whigham II is a criminal justice and public safety reporter for The Palm Beach Post. You can reach him email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at@JuliusWhigham. Help support our work:Subscribe today.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Missing Lyft driver is dead, Gary Levin's family confirms on Facebook