Statement from Police Chief Jason Umberger on an arrest in the Justis Garrett case

On behalf of the City of DeLand and the men and women of the DeLand Police Department, I want to thank the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for their response to the City of DeLand in the aftermath of the recovery of Justis Garrett's body in a remote wooded area off of Gasline Road in our city. This was a difficult investigation from the outset. I also want to thank the Volusia County Medical Examiner's Office as well for the work that they did in collecting forensic evidence from Justis. Their work coupled with excellent work from DPD's Criminal Investigation Division and Crime Scene Technicians right after Justis' body was discovered was critical to preserving the crime scene and all of the evidence on the scene.

Many agencies played a role in this investigation and for that we are extremely thankful. From the outset it was the goal of all agencies involved to determine what happened to Justis and who was involved in her murder. Thanks to everyone's hard work and dedication we are able to make an announcement about the arrest of Robert Kern Jr. 

It is my hope that this arrest helps bring closure to the family of Justis Garrett. Officers involved in cases like this take these personally as we all have families and loved ones and we want to get it right for our victims and bring justice to people who commit these heinous crimes.

Once again thank you to all the agencies involved and especially our partners at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.