Florida elected official, husband fatally stabbed in home in random attack

Florida police say they came upon a horrific scene when they went to check on the welfare of a former local elected official and her husband.

Edith and David Henderson were found stabbed to death in their home, which had been ransacked, Lakeland police said. They were killed Tuesday morning.

“The crime scene as you can imaging was absolutely horrific,” Chief of Detectives Sam Taylor said at a news conference Thursday to announce the arrest of Marcelle Waldon, 36, in the case.

Mugshot for Marcelle Waldon, 36; former City of Lakeland Commissioner Edith Henderson, 67.
(Polk County Sheriff’s Office/City of Lakeland)

Taylor said the investigation led to Waldon's arrest Wednesday night at a Lakeland motel where was staying. He is facing 10 felony counts, including murder.

The chief said Waldon has a long rap sheet and served time in prison on a burglary rap. He was released in 2016.

Edith Henderson, 67, had been a member of the Lakeland City Commission from 2006 to 2018, having been elected to serve three four-year terms.

Taylor said she was killed while her 63-year-old husband was out getting breakfast.

David Henderson was killed when he returned and went looking for his wife when he couldn’t raise her, he said.

The breakfast was sitting on the kitchen table when police arrived, Taylor said.

"We do not at this point in the investigation have any reason to believe he knew either one of the victims at all," Taylor said of Waldon.

Their son had asked police to conduct the welfare check after failing to reach Edith Hendeson by text and then going to the home and finding it in disarray.

Taylor called the crime an "unspeakable tragedy."

“These were two folks that are very well-loved," Taylor told a news conference. "They went to Lakeland High School, graduated from Lakeland High School, obviously a city commissioner. She has ties in the community so this is, this is a gut punch. This hurts.”

Taylor said an associate of Waldon’s led police to him. He said that person told investigators that he had seen Waldon in possession of jewelry and personal items that were from the Henderson home.

Taylor said during an interview Waldon denied having gone to the Henderson home.

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The City of Lakeland said on its Facebook page, “Our thoughts, prayers, and condolences go out to the friends and families of Edie and David."

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