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Youth Pastor Accused of Dismembering a Teen Nearly 2 Decades Ago

Ronnie Hyde
Ronnie Hyde (Courtesy)

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A youth pastor was arrested this week for allegedly dismembering a teen 23 years ago.  

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is asking for public's assistance in identifying other potential victims of Ronnie Leon Hyde, now 60.

Sixteen-year-old Fred Laster disappeared in 1994 and was last seen with Hyde. Police later found Laster's torso and other bloodied items in a dumpster in Lake City, Florida. Laster's sister filed a missing person's report in 1995.

In 2016, DNA evidence confirmed the torso found in the dumpster was Laster's.

Hyde was affiliated with Crosswater Community Church in the Jacksonville, Florida area.

"As the lead pastor of Crosswater Community Church, I have spoken to the FBI," Jack Millwood says in a statement. "We're cooperating fully with the FBI in their investigation of Ron Hyde. I am personally not aware of any victims of Ron Hyde that involve anyone associated with Crosswater Community Church. If any person or persons has any information regarding potential victims of Ron Hyde, please contact the local FBI directly."

He continued, "Our main concern, as always, is to help people and victims in our area." 

The FBI reports Hyde is also a named suspect in a previous international child exploitation investigation.

"We are obviously concerned about what happened 23 years ago. We're concerned whether there were victims prior to that. There may well have been victims after that," Action News Jax crime and safety expert and former FBI Agent Dale Carson said.

Carson said if there are victims spread across decades, a big challenge for investigators will be changes in technology and how interactions with Hyde were recorded, whether it was handwritten or logged in a computer system.

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