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Authorities ID woman found dead in Palm City

James Stephenson was arrested at a restaurant in Palm Beach County on Wednesday evening, June 22, 2022. (Martin Co. Sheriff’s Office)
James Stephenson was arrested at a restaurant in Palm Beach County on Wednesday evening, June 22, 2022. (Martin Co. Sheriff’s Office)
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The search for a man considered armed and dangerous is over. James Stephenson was arrested Wednesday evening at a restaurant in Palm Beach County.

The Martin County Sheriff’s Office said Stephenson, 61, was captured by its Warrants Unit with help from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Tactical Unit and the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force.

Stephenson was brought back to Martin County after his arrest Wednesday night. Authorities said he is charged with second-degree murder and his bond was set at $1 million.

On Thursday, the sheriff's office identified the murder victim as 49-year-old Lorri Summer Wright. She lived in Texas and had family in Georgia.

The search for Stephenson started after deputies found Wright dead in a bedroom of a home in Palm City, Wednesday morning.

The Martin County Sheriff's Office said investigators found trauma to the woman's body.

According to the sheriff's office, Stephenson called neighbors on Tuesday night to say he had just killed someone.

"Saying that he had killed somebody. That he had messed up really bad and that he wanted to let everybody know what he had done," said Capt. Ruben Romero.

The neighbors called 911. Then, deputies began searching the five-acre property which included trailers, mobile homes and boats. Deputies noticed blood drops in the home which led to the woman's body in the bedroom.

On Wednesday, investigators spent hours collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses, including the homeowners who are out of town. They say Stephenson was a friend who they let stay in the property.

See also: Man looking for rooster finds skeletal remains in West Palm Beach

According to the sheriff's office, Stephenson has a criminal background.

"He has a lengthy criminal history. Some of it is violence, some of its drug-related, some domestic. It’s all over the board," said Capt. Romero. " He also had a run in with deputies in Martin County. "He [Stephenson] was arrested for a resisting charge for a traffic stop, where we believe he was a bit intoxicated."

Investigators say Stephenson and the unidentified homicide victim stayed at the home as guests. The homeowners were out of the country, the sheriff's office said.

News of the murder spread quickly through the neighborhood.

“I’ve lived here for 25 years, it’s just a crazy thing going on right there!," neighbor Raymond Broughton told CBS12 News.

A close friend of the homeowners tell CBS12 News they are vacationing in the Bahamas.

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