Three Charged for Beating, Kidnapping, Killing 56-Year-Old Man in Claymont

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CLAYMONT, DE – Two men have been arrested and one other remains a fugitive at large after a July assault and kidnapping that took place near Claymont Auto Repair.

Delaware State Police have announced the arrests of Justin Locke, 20, and Jeffrey Labarge, 22, both of Claymont for first-degree assault.

The third suspect, Tyler Simpson, 22, of Wilmington, a fugitive at large was charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and conspiracy.

According to police, on Saturday, July 23, 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.

At this time, police do not know why the three suspects murdered the man.

“Due to the suspicious circumstances of the initial investigation, the Delaware State Police Homicide Unit began to assist with the investigation,” police said. “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 witnessed by a passing motorist, who called 9-1-1 to report the suspicious activity.

Through various leads and a police investigation, 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,” police said.

Later in the week, Locke and Labarge were arrested and charged, but Simpson remains a fugitive wanted for murder.

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.

Tyler Simpson
Justin Locke
Jeffrey Labarge