UPS driver finds murdered man in yard in Jupiter Farms



A quiet Jupiter Farms neighborhood was the scene of a grisly discovery Monday morning as a UPS driver discovered a man’s body in the front yard of a home.

The discovery was made as the driver was delivering a package shortly after 10:30 a.m. in the 12000 block of 179th Court, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said.

The man was later identified as David Middleton, 63, whose address is the house where he was found, 12315 179th Court N. Investigators did not say how Middleton died but are investigating his death as a homicide.

A white sheet was draped on the ground as crime scene as investigators searched for clues at the house and questioned neighbors. The community of single-family homes is located just off Indiantown Road, about 5 miles west of Interstate 95. Detectives are still trying to identify a suspect and determine a motive. However, they do not believe there is any threat to the community, a sheriff’s spokeswoman said Monday afternoon.

Middleton’s death marks the 64th confirmed homicide in Palm Beach County for the year and the first in the Jupiter Farms area since July 2015. In that case, gynecologist Ronald Oliver Schwartz, 65, was found dead in his home in the 9700 block of Mockingbird Trail, west of Riverbend Park. Saul Lopez, 28, of Miami, was arrested in September 2015 and charged with burglary and grand theft. In January, amended information led to the first-degree murder charge in that case. He is due for a status check in January and is being held without bail in the county jail.

Records show that Middleton worked in the food service industry and had operated a specialty marketing business since the late 1990s. According to the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations, Middleton was president of Foodservice Specialty Marketing LLC, which incorporated in Jupiter Farms as a limited liability company in August 2014.

The company has been listed as inactive since September. Middelton was married in 2002 but got a divorce in 2009, according to Palm Beach County court records. A woman who answered a phone number listed for his ex-wife said she did not wish to speak.

Records show that Middleton was involved in a pair of recent civil lawsuits, with him being listed as the plaintiff both times.

He was in ongoing litigation with two people and their company for allegedly stealing some of his supplies of black kidney beans and selling them in Haiti.

He also was involved in a nearly 9-year-long lawsuit alleging breach of contract by a business associate. In 2012, a judge ruled in favor of the defendant and ordered Middleton to pay more than $90,000 in the defendant’s attorney’s fees and costs.

Staff researcher Melanie Mena contributed to this report.


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