#teacher | Man arrested in connection with teacher’s death found with her car, be | Depend On WOKV – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic

Action News Jax has learned a man has been arrested in connection with the death of a Jacksonville high school teacher. Vivian James, who was a beloved teacher at Atlantic Coast High School, was found dead in her home in Cedar Hills on the morning of Dec. 28.  Zebulon Perkins, 27, is in the Duval County Jail on charges of dealing in stolen property, jail records show.  The person who called police initially to report James’ death told them that James’ 2007 Toyota Camry was missing, according to Perkins’ arrest report.  On the afternoon of Dec. 28, technology called Vigilant License Plate Reader found that James’ vehicle was at Hospitality Inn on 103rd Street.  Detectives saw Perkins throwing items into a dumpster as well as putting items into James’ vehicle. Staff at the Hospitality Inn later told police they found James’ drivers license in the room where Perkins had been staying.  A later search of the dumpster revealed “multiple items belonging to the victim … including identification cards, pill bottles bearing her name, and earbuds believed to belong to the victim,” the report said.  As Perkins and his girlfriend were driving away from the Hospitality Inn after checking out, the two were detained by police in a traffic stop.  Perkins’ girlfriend told police that he told her that he had purchased the vehicle for $2,000. She said she asked him about the items inside the car — a Bible, makeup, clothes and a surround sound TV bar — and “he told her that the vehicle was clean and he did not know anything about it,” the report said.  During a later interview with police, Perkins said he communicated through Facebook with a subject about the sale of the vehicle. He said he went by his mother’s house to pick up some belongings.  An officer asked Perkins’ mother if Perkins has left anything at the house and she said she found two TVs and a computer monitor in the garage that didn’t belong to her.  Perkins was asked if he recognized James’ home and he said he did and that he went to James’ home Dec. 26 to talk about anxiety issues he had been having.  During his first call from jail, Perkins’ stepfather asked him about the two TVs and monitor in the garage. Perkins “stated, scrub that and get rid of it,” the report said. Perkins’ stepfather said he would cooperate with police.  A search warrant was served on James’ car Dec. 29. During the search, Perkins’ bag was found and it contained a bloody pair of sweatpants, a camera from James’ home as well as her three laptops, the report said.  James’ cellphone was found on the floor in the back seat of the car. Several of James’ credit cards were found with Perkins’ key card from the Hospitality Inn, as well.  As of Monday afternoon, Perkins was still being held in the Duval County Jail. Perkins has not been charged in James’ death.


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