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Arrests Made in Fatal Robbery Attempt

Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen announced the arrest of six individuals in connection to an attempted robbery and homicide at Sylvia’s Grocery at 18441 Hwy. 231 in Fountain.

Thursday night, November 13, 2008, the owner of Sylvia’s Grocery, 47-year-old Vishnukumar "Vish" Patel was found shot behind the store. BCSO deputies and investigators responded.

Patel was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators believe the incident began as an attempted robbery in which Mr. Patel struggled, and as a result, was shot and killed.

Security video at the grocery store captured the image of a subject wearing a hooded sweatshirt coming out of the darkness, headed behind the store, and then reappearing, running away.

The man captured on camera matched the description of a subject that witnesses at the store at the time of the murder described to investigators.

Information developed during the investigation led investigators to Nicholas Tyrone Lee of Altha, Florida.

Lee was also a suspect in a recent burglary in Calhoun County in which several firearms had been stolen. Contact was made with Calhoun County Sheriff David Tatum who assisted in the investigation.

At about 2:30 a.m. BCSO and CCSO investigators went to a residence on Hwy 274 in Calhoun County and found Lee and Amy Beth Cucco.

Statements gathered during the investigation revealed that Cucco and Lee had stated prior to the murder that they intended to rob Patel. Upon questioning, Lee and Cucco admitted to their involvement in the murder.

They also revealed that Joshua Robert Sourbeck, also of Altha, had driven them to Sylvia’s Grocery where they had attempted to rob Patel, and then shot him after he struggled.


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