Former youth pastor, counselor arrested for 1994 murder of teen

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Former patients of a Florida counselor are stunned after he was arrested in connection to a 23-year-old cold case.

For the past 23 years, investigators have worked to solve the brutal murder and dismemberment of a 16-year-old boy.

In 1994, the body of a young man was found outside a dumpster at a gas station.

According to WTLV, the body was labeled as a John Doe for years before the Center for Missing and Exploited Children was able to identify the body as that of 16-year-old Fred Laster.

News4Jax reports that Hyde was the last person to see Laster the night he died, according to the arrest affidavit.

At the time, Hyde was a youth pastor at Strength for Living Church, where the Laster family were members.

“We thought all along he was the person. Through the siblings, talking to them and information we found out, it all matches. The state attorney, I think they got all they need to prove the case,” Samuel Laster, one of the victim’s cousins, said. “It seems like he preyed on these kids. It was easy bait because my aunt had passed, my uncle wasn’t around and Ron preyed on their grandmother. And I think he took advantage of her by seeing an opportunity to manipulate these children through a church event or whatever it was.”

Recently, the FBI was able to implicate 60-year-old Ron Hyde after going through his garbage and testing his DNA against evidence found on Laster’s body.

Investigators believe Laster was killed in Hyde’s home and dismembered using kitchen knives, including two that were found with the body in the dumpster.

Hyde was arrested and charged in the case.

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