On Tuesday, December 3, 2013, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office received a request for assistance from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in reference to locating a homicide suspect. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office was searching for Pedro Jose Maldonado, a Weston, Florida resident, in regards to a double homicide that was discovered on Tuesday afternoon within their jurisdiction. Leads obtained by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office made officials believe that Maldonado may be in the Columbia County area. Maldonado was believed to be driving a black Volvo SUV bearing Florida license plate 256XHE. Maldonado, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, was to be considered armed and dangerous. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office had obtained a warrant for Maldonado for two counts of Murder in the First Degree.
It was also determined that Maldonado was also named as a suspect in another attack that occurred in Leon County early Tuesday morning. That victim survived and was able to provide suspect information to officials in Leon County.
Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Deputies began searching for Maldonado immediately after the request for assistance was received. Just before 11:00 p.m., Deputies located the black Volvo at the Cabot Lodge located at 3525 West US Highway 90 near the intersections of Interstate 75 and Highway 90. Deputies verified that Maldonado had checked in to the motel on Tuesday morning.
Due to the serious nature of the offenses that Maldonado was being charged with, it was necessary to evacuate an area of the Cabot Lodge to ensure occupant safety prior to attempting contact with Maldonado. Once the area was cleared of all occupants, members of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Crisis Negotiation Team attempted to make contact with Maldonado; however all attempts were unsuccessful. After receiving no response from Maldonado, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team members entered Maldonado’s motel room and found him deceased from what appeared to be a self inflicted knife wound. The deceased was transported to the Jacksonville Medical Examiner’s Office.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office will continue to assist the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office with their investigations.