Troopers Arrest Two Subjects for Assault First Degree, One Remains At Large

Delaware State Police have arrested Justin Locke, 20, and Jeffrey Labarge, 22, both of Claymont, DE for Assault 1st Degree after an incident last weekend.

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On Saturday July 23, 2022, at approximately 11:41 pm, the Delaware State Police Troop 2 Criminal Investigative Unit began investigating a felony level assault at the Claymont Auto Repair located in the 3500 block of Philadelphia Pike, Claymont, DE. Due to the suspicious circumstances of the initial investigation, the Delaware State Police Homicide Unit began to assist with the investigation. During this joint investigation, it was determined that three subjects attacked a 56-year-old victim of Claymont in the area of Claymont Auto Repair as the victim was walking south along the sidewalk. After the assault, the three assailants left the victim lying motionless on the ground of the parking lot, where the victim remained for over 25 minutes. A vehicle then pulled into the same parking lot, and subjects were observed loading the victim into the rear of an SUV. This behavior was witnesses by a passing motorist, who called 9-1-1 to report the suspicious activity.

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Through various investigative leads, the suspect vehicle and three persons of interest were identified as Justin Locke, Jeffrey Labarge, and Tyler Simpson, but there was no immediate report of an assault victim or missing person.  As investigators continued to work the investigation, further information was obtained that assisted law enforcement in identifying potential areas to search in the Claymont area for the unidentified assault victim. Through these steps, the body of a deceased white male was located on the property of Citisteel USA, located north of the assault location. Following an autopsy of the victim, his manner of death was ruled a homicide. Identification of the victim is not being released at this time.

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During the week of July 25th, the Delaware State Police apprehended two of the three identified suspects. On July 28, 2022, Justin Locke, was arrested on charges of Assault 1st Degree, Kidnapping First Degree, and Conspiracy 2nd Degree, arraigned in the Justice of the Peace Court #2 and committed to Delaware Corrections on a $1,00,000 cash bond. On Thursday July 28, 2022, Jeffrey Labarge was apprehended by Delaware State Police and arrested on charges of Assault 1st Degree, Kidnapping First Degree, and Conspiracy 2nd Degree, arraigned in the Justice of the Peace Court #11, and committed to Delaware Corrections on a $1,000,000 cash bond.

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Locke and Labarge, who are currently in the custody of the Department of Corrections, will be charged with Murder 1st Degree. Arraignment information will be forthcoming.

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The third suspect, Tyler Simpson, 22, of Wilmington, DE is still outstanding on charges of Murder 1st Degree, Assault 1st Degree, Kidnapping First Degree, and Conspiracy 2nd Degree.

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The Delaware State Police would like to ask for the public’s assistance in locating Tyler Simpson and cautions the public that Simpson should be considered armed and dangerous.

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The Delaware State Police Homicide Unit is actively investigating this incident. Detectives are asking anyone with information regarding this case to contact Detective McDerby by calling 302-741-2821. Information may also be provided by sending a Private Facebook Message to the Delaware State Police, by contacting Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, or via the internet at www.delawarecrimestoppers.com.

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