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MURDER CHARGE IN DEATH OF 5-YEAR OLD BOY

BSO Case Number: PB02-02-04118
PIO Number: 02-02-32
Date: February 10, 2002
Place of Occurrence: 800 block of NW 15th Street, Pompano Beach

Victim(s):

  • Jordan Payne, 5, 3/25/96, 1524 NW 7th Terrace, Pompano Beach

Suspect(s):

  • Gorman Roberts Jr., 17, 9/3/84, 701 NW 10th St., Apt. G-102, Pompano Beach

Description of Incident:

Broward Sheriff's Office homicide detectives have charged a 17-year old with first-degree murder in the drowning of a 5-year old autistic boy from Pompano Beach.

Gorman Roberts Jr. of 701 NW 10th Street, Pompano Beach was taken into custody at around 5:00 pm on Friday, February 15, 2002. He had been in the Broward Juvenile Intake Facility on a violation of parole charge when detectives charged him with the murder of 5-year old Jordan Payne.

Investigators say Roberts told them he, Jordan, a 9-year old boy, and an 11-year old boy had been wrestling near the banks of a canal near a church in the 800 block of NW 15th Street in Pompano Beach the morning of Sunday, February 10, 2002, the day Jordan was reported missing at about 10:00 am. Roberts said he tried to separate Jordan and a younger boy who were roughhousing, and pushed the 5-year old child. He told detectives that he heard a splash, looked in the canal, and saw Jordan in the water, his arms flailing.

Detectives say Roberts told them he never thought of going into the 3-4 foot deep canal to rescue Jordan, nor did he think about running to the nearby church to ask someone from the congregation for help.

The 9-year old and 11-year old told investigators that Roberts intentionally pushed Jordan into the canal and simply laughed as he watched the autistic child trying to keep his head above the water.

Jordan Payne was reported missing the morning of Sunday, February 10, 2002 after his family discovered that he was not in bed at his great-grandmother’s home at 1524 NW 7th Terrace in Pompano Beach. He had been seen there asleep around 11:00 pm the night before.

The Broward Sheriff's Office conducted a massive search for the little boy throughout the day, Sunday, but could not locate the child. Jordan’s body was discovered the morning of Monday, February 11, 2002, in a canal not far from his great-grandmother’s home.

INVESTIGATORS: Sgt. J. Carr, Dets. F. Ilarraza & R. Libman
THIS REPORT BY: Hugh Graf / PIO 2/16/02 12:00 pm

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