Briton 'killed by US partner'

A BRITISH computer expert whose body was found in a Florida swamp was murdered by a cheating business partner, Miami police said yesterday.

They dismissed suggestions that Howard Bates, 44, a former RAF pilot from Hawkhurst, Kent, was involved with drug barons and said he was shot dead because he had discovered a huge fraud.

Mr Bates went to the United States on a two-day trip in February 1991, telling his wife he planned to confront a man who had swindled him out of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

His body was discovered in swampland late last week. He was apparently lured to the spot, behind a factory, and shot in the back of the head, police said. Albert Lucio, 32, and Wayne Merced, 26, are being held in Miami's Dade County jail charged with murder. Lucio was Mr Bates's business partner in the Miami company Bolden Surgical Products.

Police are also searching for a 29-year-old woman, Magaly Carr, an employee of the company and Merced's girlfriend.

A Miami police spokesman said yesterday: 'Lucio was scamming Mr Bates from the beginning and took about dollars 1m of his money over an eight-month period.

'Merced was not involved in the fraud but was involved in the murder. The motive was that these people were stealing Mr Bates's money and using it for personal gain, and we think Mr Bates realised this was going on. He came over in February 1991 to confront his business partner Lucio.'

Reports that Mr Bates may have been involved with Miami drug barons had been ruled out.

Jarratt Crawford, a Miami detective, told BBC Radio Kent that Mr Bates 'had lost money which he was attempting to recoup'.

He added: 'They had convinced him they had it invested. It was to purchase his side of the business but that was admitted to be a fraud - there was no investment. And they basically lured him over here. Of course, their statement was that it was not intentional that the shooting occurred, but my feeling is otherwise.'

Mr Bates was co-founder 12 years ago of South East Computers, a computer dealership based in Hastings, East Sussex.

David Turner, technical director of South East Computers at the time of the disappearance, said Mr Bates put money into Bolden Surgical Products after South East Computers was sold to a technology group. According to Miami police, from June 1990 Mr Bates invested pounds 500,000 in Bolden.

Lucio reported him missing on 9 February 1991. Police became suspicious after Mr Bates's passport and all his belongings were found in his hotel room.

Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
people
Arts and Entertainment
Tulisa as a judge on the X Factor in 2012
tvLouis Walsh confirms star's return
Life and Style
fashionClothes shop opens on Bill Clinton Boulevard in Pristina
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior Analyst - Graduate - 6 Month fixed term contract

£17000 - £20000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

Project Manager - Pensions

£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

Project Coordinator - Cisco Partner - £110 p/d

£110 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Project Coordinator (SC Cleared), Cisco Go...

KYC Analyst, Birmingham - £200-£250 p/d

£200 - £250 per day + competitive: Orgtel: KYC Analyst, Key Banking Client, Bi...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone