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Crime News Breaking News

Florida Man Arrested For Kidnapping, Torturing Young Mother To Death

A Jacksonville-area man with a criminal history awaits trial in a brutal murder case.

By Megan Carpentier
Chelsea Thompson Fb

A Florida man with a criminal past faces new charges in the torturous murder of a young Florida mother.

Henry Joseph Lannon, 37, was arrested on Nov. 23 — two days before Thanksgiving — and charged with felony kidnapping, aggravated battery, trafficking of methamphetamines and resisting arrest in the death of Chelsea Thompson, 30.

According to police reports, officers from Jacksonville County Sheriff's Office were called to the University of Florida Health Shands Cancer Hospital on Nov. 10, reported Law & Crime. Thompson had been rushed there after Lannon's sister brought her, unresponsive, to a fire station, reported People, and said Thompson and Lannon had been arguing, according to WJXT in Jacksonville.

The women told police that Lannon was on the run, but a search of her phone revealed him to be at the home of a friend in nearby St. Marys. The sister also told police that she'd found Thompson unresponsive at her brother's house, where she discovered her bound on the floor, according to People. She had attempted to perform chest compressions there, but Lannon ordered her to take Thompson to the nearby fire station.

Thompson was admitted to the ICU but died as a result of her injuries on Nov. 11, according to an online obituary written by her family. She reportedly donated her kidneys, lungs, liver, heart, intestines and pancreas.

An autopsy found that had bruises on her wrists and ankles, indicating that she had been restrained. She suffered a fractured vertebra as well as brain and facial swelling, and was bleeding from one of her ears, reported WJXT. 

The friend in St. Marys spoke to WJXT after Lannon's arrest, who said that he'd called the local police on Nov. 16.

When Lannon first stopped by, the man told the station, he told his friend that he'd "messed up" and needed to burn some things, which the friend allowed him to do. It was only later that Lannon admitted the reason he needed to burn things was because of a violent act.

"He said, 'Man, I think I might have killed a girl,'" the friend told WJXT. "I said, 'Henry, you’re not a killer. You didn’t kill anyone. ''Then he went into details about it.”

The friend told the station — which he also told the police — that Lannon claimed to have tied up Thompson, beaten her, waterboarded her and smothered her with a pillow. He also told police that Lannon had intended to torture her, and that Thompson had "begged for her life."

The friend told WJXT that he wasn't sure whether to believe Lannon until his change of behavior after being told Thompson was being taken off of life support. 

That's when, the friend says, he called the cops.

The Jacksonville police later issued a warrant for Lannon's arrest, and the U.S. Marshalls took him into custody at a hotel in Jacksonville on Nov. 23.

Federal Bureau of Prison records indicate that Lannon was released from federal custody on 2017, but do not indicate what he was charged with.

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