FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Chapman
Phone: (904) 255-3004
Cell: (904) 524-6626
Feb. 18, 2021
RODARTE PLEADS GUILTY TO MURDER IN 2017 KILLING OF SAVANNAH GOLD
State Attorney Melissa Nelson today announces that Lee Rodarte has pleaded guilty to Second-Degree Murder in the 2017 killing of Savannah Gold. The Honorable Jeb Branham will formally sentence Rodarte in a hearing March 11, 2021.
Per the terms of the negotiated agreement, Rodarte will receive 40 years in Florida State Prison.
On Aug. 2, 2017, Gold left her home to go to work at a Mandarin restaurant, but she never arrived and was reported missing. An investigation by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office revealed surveillance footage that showed Gold parked her car in the parking lot of the restaurant, exited her vehicle and entered Rodarte’s nearby vehicle through the passenger side. The two were co-workers who had dated. The surveillance video shows a struggle ensued in the car, followed by Rodarte driving away from the scene with Gold still in his car. Rodarte was arrested and, while being interviewed by homicide detectives, admitted to being in the parking lot, killing Gold, and disposing of her body.
The case was investigated by Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Chyna Makarowski.