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Orlando Man Charged With Murdering A Woman He Claimed He Found In The Woods

James Gafford, a registered sex offender, initially called the police to report finding Kaitlyn Emery's body in the woods. 

By Jax Miller
Crime Scene 1 G

A registered sex offender from Florida has been charged with murder after police say he called to report a body in the woods.

On April 21, James Gafford, 55, told Orlando police that he’d stumbled on the body of Kaitlyn Emery, 29, while waiting for a bus, according to the Orlando Sentinel. But detectives are saying that it was Gafford himself who murdered Emery in the woods two days prior.

“The timeline just kind of matched up with our investigation, as far as when he would have been around and when he would have had the opportunity to commit the homicide,” said Lt. Frank Chisari of the Orlando Police Department, according to ClickOrlando.com.

Gafford is a registered sexual offender, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records, with two convictions of sexual battery against an unknown adult female in 2001. He was also found guilty seven times for failing to report his status on the registry when relocating.

The register listed Gafford as a transient last April.

“This is a disturbed individual. (Gafford) committed a horrible, horrible act here,” Chisari told ClickOrlando.com. “He had a relationship with her [Emery] at some point, and he killed her through the course of this relationship.”

According to the local website, Gafford and Emery met at the bus stop at John Young Parkway and Princeton Street on April 19. Together they walked into the woods, but Emery never came out.

Two days later, Gafford made the call to the police.

Police have not publicly announced how Kaitlyn Emery died.

“He probably should have been in jail,” said Chisari. “He probably should have been in a place where he couldn’t have hurt anybody.”

A grand jury indicted Gafford on charges of first-degree murder, according to the Sentinel. Gafford is scheduled for arraignment on July 8.