Local News

Brothers charged in Sanford thrift shop murder

Posted May 29, 2014 5:42 a.m. EDT
Updated May 29, 2014 7:03 p.m. EDT

— Police arrested two brothers Thursday in the slaying of a Sanford thrift store's owner whose body was found inside her business Wednesday morning.

Christopher Ryan Watson, 25, of 410 Carthage St., Sanford, was charged with murder in the death of Carol Bowling Chacon, 54, of Carthage, whom police found around 10:40 a.m. at Project Help Thrift Shop, at 916 Fields Drive, while responding to a report of a possible injury.

Watson – who has a criminal record that includes convictions for simple assault, breaking and entering and possessing stolen goods – also faces a charge of felony larceny of a motor vehicle after Chacon's 2002 Ford Explorer Sport was stolen.

His brother, Samuel Raymond Watson, 29, of 4901 Simpson Drive, Sanford, was charged with accessory after the fact to murder. Police said in a news release that he concealed evidence and helped his brother try to escape.

Authorities haven't offered a motive for Chacon's death, but they have said that she was killed sometime Tuesday and had been stabbed in the neck.

Mike Liles, who worked for Chacon, said Watson used to work for Chacon but was fired about four months ago after he was accused of stealing from a cash register.

Friends said Chacon had a passion for helping ex-convicts and often hired them.

"I know she was reaching out to try to help them," Joanne Cook said. "I tried to tell her that not everybody that comes out (of prison) has had a change in their life."

"She was a real nice lady," said Roberto Cuevas, who manages a store across the street from Project Help.

Cuevas said Chacon often sold him goods and gave toys to his young daughters.

He said officers approached him Wednesday morning asking for a crowbar so they could get into the shop.

"We looked outside, and the parking lot was full with detectives and police cars," he said. "They were coming and going, looking around the outside and stuff like that."

Cuevas said he also knows Christopher Watson, who sometimes came into his store.

"He was very ambitious with her. He wanted to advertise on the Internet and stuff like that, but she wouldn't do it," Cuevas said. "He wanted to make a website. He kept coming over here and telling us about it."

Both Christopher Watson and Samuel Watson were being held in the Lee County Jail without bond Thursday morning.

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