Deputies expand search for accused killer

Orange County deputies continue to search for a man, accused of killing his ex girlfriend.  

On Friday, the victim's grandmother spoke out, hoping to get answers soon.  Gertrude Samuel is  mourning the loss of her granddaughter, Jasmine Samuel.  She remembers how the 25-year old rushed out of the house, to head to work.  "When she left for work she was running late. She left the food on the counter that I had prepared for her," she said. 

Gertrude says Jasmine worked the overnight shift, at the Sonoco Packaging facility. It's the same place where suspect David Payne also worked. "She went on break. But she evidentially went out to the car to get her food out of the car."

Investigators say it was around 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, when Payne forced Samuel into the trunk of her car. Samuel called 911 for help, but it was too late. Her body was found an hour and a half later in the trunk of her Nissan Maxima, near 6th and 10th Street in Taft. Deputies say both had recently ended their relationship. According to Gertrude, Jasmine dated 62-year-old Payne for around three years.

"Yes, I knew him," Gertrude said.  "He always gave me respect. Sometime he called me 'Grand Momma,' 'Miss Gertrude.' He gave me respect, I'll give that to him. But as now today, I have a lot things running through my mind, but I still have love and care for each and everyone."

As deputies search for Payne, Gertrude wonders what happened. "With David, if he did this I would just wonder why. What could she do to him for him to do that? Whatever happened to her, she would keep it inside. She didn't want no body to solve her problems."

Gertrude says Jasmine is the mother of two children.  It breaks her heart knowing her granddaughter lost her life. "It's not easy looking at those kids crying for their Mom and ask me do I miss their Momma? I've got to live with this here and I don't know how. It's killing me."

Deputies haven't said how Jasmine died. But they did find a weapon. Anyone with information on David Payne should call the Orange County Sheriff's Office.