‘They were friends’: 3 indicted in murder of 21-year-old DeLand dad

On Friday, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office along with the State Attorney announced indictments for the murder of 21-year-old Jarius Cook.

The DeLand man was shot and killed back in March in a robbery investigators say turned deadly. His body was found in a burning car near Delaware and Beresfords avenues. 

“This was absolutely a senseless horrific murder of a young man who had so much of his life ahead of him,” said Sheriff Mike Chitwood at a press conference Friday morning.

Investigators charged 23-year-old Zachariah Sanders, 18-year-old Fredryonna Grimes and Cameron Lane with first-degree murder and robbery.

“We prayed. We cried, and we prayed some more, and we got just what we asked for from the Lord,” said Vicki Cook Heath, the victim’s aunt.

Heath said Cook was friends with the suspects.

“They were friends and Jarius trusted everybody... thought everybody was his friend,” she said.

Investigators say the case is ongoing as they are still working to figure who set the car on fire. 

“Whether or not they were involved in setting the car on fire or whether there’s other individuals that did it, those are facts that are still under investigation,” said State Attorney RJ. Larizza. 

The family said it holds no hatred toward the suspects, but said they are relieved to be one step closer to justice.

“We are praying for them because we are a praying family and we’re praying for those who are in custody but we still want a conviction,” said Heath. 

He leaves behind a four-year-old son.“It’s not fair to him because he has to grow to not know his father,” said Cook’s mom.