The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Lakeland man for the death of a 74-year-old woman was hit and killed by a vehicle earlier this month.

Jarvis Kendrick, 37, of Lakeland, was charged with one count of leaving the scene of a crash involving death, and one count of tampering with evidence, according to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd while speaking with the press.

Judd announced the arrest of Jarvis Kendrick on Tuesday, noting that the sheriff’s office received a tip on Oct. 13 that Kendrick was the owner of the vehicle which hit and killed Joy while walking along Duff Road on Oct. 6.

Jarvis Kendrick
Jarvis Kendrick

Kendrick reported a traffic crash on Oct. 9 to the Florida Highway Patrol, but claimed that he went off the roadway and hit a sign. The man also took his vehicle to a body shop for repairs, which has led to the tampering with evidence charge.

“Desperate people do desperate things,” said Judd

“By the suspect removing the remainder of the passenger side mirror and delivering the vehicle used in the commission of this crime to a body shop in an attempt to repair it to cover up damage from the crash, the suspect unlawfully and intentionally tampered with physical evidence.”

Kendrick was booked in the Polk County Jail under a $50,000 bond.

Kendrick is employed at MidFlorida Credit Union. The company issued the following statement on Tuesday-

“We are just learning the details of Jarvis Kendrick’s arrest along with the rest of the community.  Jarvis Kendrick is the regional manager for the West Polk market. At this point, there has been no decision made regarding his continued employment.”

Joy suffered from Alzheimer’s and has been under special care for over 15 years.

 

Her caretaker, Betty Mata, felt sorry for Kendrick because he has a family, but spoke with WFLA after she heard what he did to cover up what happened.

“I was feeling sorry for him but after all of the things that he did to cover it up. Now, I hope justice is done. How does this good citizen who has done so much for other people leave a 74-year-old woman to die alone on the road?” Mata asked.