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Hernando missing persons case turns double murder investigation

Hernando missing persons case turns double murder investigation

  • PublishedJune 17, 2024

A woman was reported missing in May, but as the investigation progressed, deputies found two bodies in a cross-county investigation.

CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. — What started as a missing person’s case turned into a cross-county investigation where a husband and wife were arrested and charged with the murders of two people after they were allegedly caught using a missing woman’s credit card.

Lue’Quita Sclesky, 32, and Duane Sclesky, 38, were arrested after deputies from Hernando and Citrus counties connected them to the death of Jamie Lynn MacDonald who was reported missing by family members on May 12.

Hernando County Sheriff Al Neinhuis said MacDonald previously had an issue with a person and called law enforcement. While that person was ruled out as a suspect, they were associated with Lue’Quita, leading deputies to look into her.

They found that Lue’Quita and Duane were using MacDonald’s bank information at an ATM. Law enforcement arrested the couple on fraud charges on June 14, and through their investigation and interviewing the suspects, they determined “concerning areas” and excavated them. 

During their search of the area, they found a body, but it wasn’t MacDonald. It was a man named Kenneth Zikendrath who they were able to connect to the Scleskys, Neinhaus said.

The sheriff said the Zikendrath died one to two years ago and deputies had no reason to believe he was missing. As detectives continued their investigation, they worked with the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office and learned the suspects paid for a room at a motel with both victims. Detectives also got additional information that led them to find a second body in a creek in Homosassa which officials believe is MacDonald. 

Detectives are still waiting on confirmation from the medical examiner for the identity and cause of death, but they said they believe it’s MacDonald. Neinhaus said the cause is homicidal violence for both victims.

Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast said Lue’Quita was charged with first-degree murder, and Duane was charged with premeditated murder. Both are being held in jail with no bond and further charges are pending, he said. 

Detectives said Zikendrath and MacDonald were likely targeted because they were living “high-risk lifestyles,” which made them vulnerable.

Lue’Quita has a prior criminal history with felony convictions of drug possession, and Duane also has felony convictions of drug possession, battery, driving with a suspended license multiple times and aggravated assault, according to Hernando County court records.

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