Dekendrick Ford Charged in 2011 Homicide

By: Gadsden County Sheriff's Office Email
By: Gadsden County Sheriff's Office Email

News Release: Gadsden County Sheriff's Office
May 20, 2015

QUINCY, Fla. -- Today the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney’s Office of the Second Judicial Circuit – Quincy, FL, announce the charging of 27 year old Dekendrick Lamar Ford in the 2011 homicide of a 23 year old mother of two, Teresa Manuel. Ford, 23 years old at the time, was indicted for killing the mother of his two children and live-in girlfriend after a dispute.

A Grand Jury was convened in last month returning a true bill indicting Ford for the death of Teresa Manuel. Manuel was found deceased in a wooded area the day following Ford’s filing a missing persons report with the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office. In that report filed August 9th, 2011, Ford claimed that he and Manuel were traveling on Pat Thomas Parkway in Quincy, Florida when the two got into an argument over Ford being unfaithful. Ford stated that Manuel asked to be let out of the vehicle near the Walmart Supercenter on Pat Thomas Parkway and Joe Adams Road. Ford stated that when he drove off he felt bad and turned around about a mile later returning to the location where she was dropped off, but Manuel was not there.

Ford stated that he drove home and waited about an hour before he began calling Manuel’s cell phone. After he did not get an answer, he began making contact with her family members and later driving around Quincy, Florida looking for Manuel. Manuel never made contact with her parents regarding her children after she had contacted them earlier that afternoon requesting that they pick the children up from daycare.

On August 10th, 2011, Investigators with the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office and Special Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement located Manuel’s body in the Rocky Comfort Management Area on Magnolia Farms Road. An autopsy was performed the following day ruling Manuel’s death a homicide.

[UPDATE] Quincy, Florida - 9-9-11 - 10am

The man who deputies think killed his girlfriend Last month was in court this morning.

23-year old Dekendrick Ford was before the judge this morning for violation of probation. He was originally charged in 2007 for fleeing an officer. This morning, The judge sentenced him to 60 months in the Department of Corrections. Sheriff deputies still have not officially charged him with the death of his girlfriend 23-year old Teresa Manuel. Her body was found last month in The woods off Old Federal Highway in Quincy.

Ford is scheduled to have custody hearing next Friday, September 16th to get custody of his kids.

Stay tuned to WCTV for the latest on the status of Dekendrick Ford.


UPDATE 08-24-2011 at 6:05pm by Jerry Askin

It's been two weeks since the body of a Gadsden County mother was found, and deputies are still pointing the finger at her boyfriend.

23-year old Teresa Manuel was last seen with Dekendrick Ford at the Wal-Mart on Pat Thomas Parkway back on August 8th. Her body was found days later off Old Federal Road in Quincy.

Ford remains behind bars on a violation of probation charge. He has not been officially charged with her death.

The couple's two young children remain in foster care.
UPDATE 08-12-2011 at 6:00pm by Jerry Askin

The Department of Children and Families is looking for a full time family to care for the children of a Gadsden County mother who was found dead in Quincy early Wednesday morning.

A DCF Spokesperson confirmed that Teresa Manuel's two young children are in state custody right now in foster care.

Manuel has a 2-year old girl and an 11-month old boy. DCF officials tell us they are looking for non-relatives to take care of the children because they say family members are not able to care for the children at this time.

"This is a very tragic situation and anytime we have to remove the children, we make sure they are in a loving home," says DCF spokesperson Terri Durdaller.

The Early Learning Coalition in Tallahassee and in Gadsden County are accepting donations for the two children.

Here's a list of what the Early Coalition says the children will need:

Pull-ups size 2t-3t (girl)
Diapers size 5 (girl)
Diapers size 3 (boy)
Baby Wipes
Girl Clothes size 24mos. – 3T
Boy Clothes size 12-18mos.
Girl Shoes size 7 toddler
Boy Shoes size not known yet
Formula – Carnation Good Start
Baby Food – Stages 2 & 3
Sippy Cups – Hard & Soft lids
2 – toddler tooth brushes & non-fluoride toothpaste
2 – Car Seats

And of course monetary donations are greatly appreciated. Contact the Early Learning Coalition to make your financial donation for the two children at :

1940 N Monroe St # 70
Tallahassee, FL 32303-4759
(850) 385-0504

UPDATE 08-12-2011 at 11:30am by Jerry Askin

The funeral for Teresa Manuel will be held next Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 1:00pm at the Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Quincy, FL.

This information is according to the father of Teresa Manuel, Mr. Ernest Manuel.
UPDATE 08-11-2011 at 6:20pm by Jerry Askin

Diane Robinson hasn't slept normal since she heard the news that her son's girlfriend 23-year old Teresa Manuel died. And deputies believe her son Dekendrick Ford is to blame.

"I considered her just like a daughter to me and we were real close. It wasn't nothing out there in the world I wouldn't do for Teresa," says Robinson.

Deputies found the body of Teresa Manuel in the woods off Old Federal Road in Quincy early Wednesday morning. They're linking her death to Dekendrick Ford because they say she was last seen with him in Quincy Monday afternoon.

"Deep down in my heart, I know my son would not have done that. And if nobody knows their child mom does. And I feel like he wouldn't have done something like that - Not to take her out like that," says Robinson.

Manuel leaves behind a 2-year old girl and an 11-month old boy. And now all Robinson can think about is her two young grandchildren.

"I still stand by her and I'm sorry this had to happen and my heart goes out to the family and everybody," says Robinson.

"Her immediate family needs to get those kids out of foster care and give them as much love as they can because I know they want their mama, but they'll never have her again tho," says Sabrina Lockwood who has known Teresa for years.

We did reach out to the family of Teresa Manuel, they did not want to go on camera, but they are still grieving as you can imagine.

Of course we'll keep following this story and bring you details on the funeral arrangements as they become available.

UPDATE 8-10-2011 11:20pm by Amy Long

The body of a young mother of two was discovered in a wooded area off Old Federal Road in Quincy Wednesday morning 8/10.

Shametria James who lives near Manuel said, "We couldn't sleep after we found out he had did that to her."

23-year-old Teresa Manuel had been missing for at least a day.

A Gadsden County missing person's timeline shows Dekendrick Ford, Manuel's live-in boyfriend, filed a missing persons report around 9 Tuesday morning. 8/9

Dorian Williams who remembers the young mother said, "For this to hit so close to home it's a big difference. A lot of us are close knit. We stick together."

Gadsden County deputies say Ford admitted to getting in a fight with Manuel on Monday. 8/9

Anthony Chambers who lives in the Vanguard Apartment Complex said, "I didn't suspect anything was going on in her personal life because she was always just going to and from work and back home." James added, "When she does come home she goes and checks the mail, brings her little girl outside for a while and then goes back in."

Manuel's family hadn't heard from her and when they went to check on her at Vanguard Apartments in Gretna, they found the back door open, the television on, but no Manuel.

Ford was arrested for violation of probation, but he is also a suspect in Manuel's disappearance.

"How could you kill the mother of your kids? That just doesn't make sense," said James.

Neighbors say Ford and Manuel were high school sweethearts. They graduated from East Gadsden High and had two children; one of them under one and the other two years old. One neighbor said their relationship was on the rocks.

Manuel worked at a gas station in Quincy and worked at Tallahassee memorial Hospital in Environmental Services.

Ford remains in the Gadsden County Jail for violation of probation. At this time, he has not been charged with Manuel's death.
GCSO is still not saying how the 23-year-old died.

UPDATE 08-10-2011 at 6:20pm by Jerry Askin

The suspicious death of Teresa Manuel has many folks in Gadsden County asking questions. And now those who knew her personally are speaking out.

Leniece Anderson and Lakeshia Lane will now only share memories of their former classmate and the young mother of two small children.

"It will never be the same again," says Lakeisha Lane - a friend of Teresa Manuel.

Just before 1:00 Wednesday morning, Gadsden County sheriff deputies found 23-year old Teresa Manuel's body in the woods off Old Federal Road in Quincy.

"She was a hardworking mother, she worked for anything she had so she didn't deserve nothing like this," says Leniece Anderson, friend of Teresa.

Deputies say Manuel was last seen Monday with her boyfriend Dekendrick Ford, near the Wal-Mart in Quincy. Deputies caught up with Ford Wednesday morning and arrested him, linking him as the suspect in the crime.

"I didn't suspect anything was going on in her personal life because she was always just going to and from work and back home," says Anthony Chambers.

If you have anymore information about the death of Teresa Manuel you're asked to call the GCSO, that number is 850- 933-5794.

Ford remains in the Gadsden County Jail for violation of probation. At this time, he has not officially been charged with Manuel's death.

[UPDATE] 8-10 3pm -

The Gadsden County Sheriff's Office is now officially ruling the missing person case as a homicide investigation.
Dekendrick Lamar Ford is in custody for a different charge, but he is a person of interest in this case.

• On Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 at approximately 9:03 am, the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office took a missing persons report on Teresa Jean Manuel from Dekendrick Lamar Ford, her live-in boyfriend of 10 years.

• Ford stated that he and Teresa got into a verbal altercation on Monday, August 8th, 2011 at approximately 5:45 pm, where she exited the vehicle somewhere near the entrance to Wal-Mart off of Pat Thomas Parkway.

• Manuel’s family had not heard from her since Monday and went to her residence in Gretna, FL and found the rear door ajar and the television still on. The family notified Gretna Police Department and an investigation, in conjunction with the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division, began.

• On August 9th, 2011 at approximately 10 pm, information began coming in that indicated Manuel’s disappearance was under suspicious circumstances.

• The information coming in led investigators to the area off of Old Federal Road where the body of Teresa Jean Manuel was located in a remote area at approximately 12:16 am this morning.

• The Florida Department of Law Enforcement Crime Scene Unit responded to the scene.

• As of 9 am this morning an autopsy is being performed and this is officially ruled as a homicide investigation.

• We are asking that if anyone knows anything concerning the death of Teresa Manuel to contact Inv. B. Alexander at (850)933-5794 or Crime Stoppers at (850)574-TIPS.


[UPDATE 8-10 Noon -

We have new information about a Gadsden County woman who went missing last night. Family members are telling us they got a call that the 23-year old died early this morning.

She was last seen in the afternoon on August 8 at the Wal-Mart in Quincy. Her boyfriend, Dekendrick Lamar Ford, was with her at the time. GCSO considers Manuel's disappearance suspicious. Ford is believed to be in possession of a 2000 gold Nissan Maxima - Florida plate 66-12-GY.

Gadsden County deputies are not saying if or how Manuel died. They do say they plan to release more information later this afternoon.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's office at 850-875-8825.

Gadsden County, FL - August 9, 2011 --

The Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office is seeking information concerning the whereabouts of 23 year old Teresa Jean Manuel. Manuel was last seen yesterday at 4:45 pm at the Wal-Mart in Quincy, FL with her boyfriend, DEKENDRICK LAMAR FORD.

Manuel’s disappearance is being investigated by the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office and is considered to be suspicious.

Ford is believed to be in possession of her vehicle (which is a 2000 gold Nissan Maxima with Florida plate of 6612GY) and is a suspect in her disappearance. If you have any information surrounding the disappearance of Teresa Jean Manuel please contact the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office at850-875-8825.

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  • by WTH??? on Sep 10, 2011 at 11:41 PM
    He's sentenced to five years DOC and is having a hearing on 9/16 to get custody of his children? They don't have little villages in the prisons. Take away ALL of his parental rights so that the kids can be adopted by a normal law-abiding family and, possibly, have a chance in life.
  • by Boss man Location: Gretna on Sep 10, 2011 at 04:02 PM
    For all of you that fussing on the internet... Shut the f*** up and let this lady rest in peace... If that not to hard for you to do
  • by Docker Location: Tallahassee on Sep 9, 2011 at 10:42 AM
    Well said, Frances.
  • by Frances Location: Tallahassee on Sep 9, 2011 at 08:18 AM
    The posts about the evil of welfare is absolutely correct. Not only is it destroying individual lives, it is destroying society, whose foundation is the family. As in mother, father, and children living together. NOT mother living with many children of many different fathers. That is inviting poverty and poor parenting, which is leading our schools to failure and our criminal justice system to bursting at the seams. Good parenting is NOT easy, and it takes a mother and a father. Committed to each other and to their children, which each of them want. That's the key. Single women who surprise a man with the news that he's going to be a father are begging for trouble. Please ladies (and girls), be smarter than that; you AND your children deserve better.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 25, 2011 at 11:33 AM
    She was poor and struggling financially because of you. When she died her children went to dcf with nothing, not even a bottle. You as her so called supposed friends were the one always in her ear with your advice. You absolutely contribute to her financial predicament. Stop trying to cover it up. Stop lying and trying to tell everybody she wasn't that poor that her financial situation was not so destitute. It absolutely was. I am not attacking her because she was poor. I am attacking you, her other friends like you and the governments for encouraging her to make the decisions that would almost guaranteed she was poor for life. She had to work two jobs and struggled financially because she was your friend listening to your advice. You and the other like you were the ones that helped trap her. You did it deliberately and you will keep doing it deliberately until someone speaks out against you and your so call good friendship advice. You never encourage her or any of your other friends to go to college, to travel, to see the world to live life a little first
    • reply
      by HMA on Aug 25, 2011 at 07:01 PM in reply to
      Anonymous for president!
  • by Anonymous on Aug 25, 2011 at 11:28 AM
    You encourage them to have children, right away, out of wed lock because you wanted them to be trapped like you. Misery loves company. You were not her friend, you were her enemy and more importantly you were not white. White people were not her enemy. You were. Now stop twisting this into some kind of attack on her because it is absolutely not. It is an attack on you, the other like you and the government welfare programs for their encouragement as well. You all can keep listening to her advice if you want to but I am telling you she is not your friend, she is your worst enemy. If you stay her friend, you are going to end up just like this girl did. My advice is to get as far away from her and the others like her as you can, to choose your friends well, to go to college, to travel, to see the world and live life a little first before you decide to have children.
  • by Sheila on Aug 24, 2011 at 05:18 PM
    This is so terribly tragic. I've never considered being a foster parent. However, knowing these two children have suffered so greatly makes one want to open their homes and their hearts.
  • by This Got To STOP! Location: Quincy on Aug 21, 2011 at 07:33 AM
    First of all where in this story does it states that this young lady was getting any assistance from anywhere????? Thats what I though some dumb founded low life who do not know this young lady or how she was living felt the need to ASSUME something and little do they know when the ASSUME they are only making a EVERYONE who responded look a stupid. This young lady worked two jobs and for those of you who does not know if you make over 22000 a year the GOVERNMENT gives you little to no assist. With that this you lady worked at TMH making over that annually and the doctors office making just as much do for you people who say this young lady was TRAPPED by the government learn the facts about a person before making yourself look like a fool. May God Be with this young lady children and family
    • reply
      by Amen on Aug 23, 2011 at 03:09 PM in reply to This Got To STOP!
      Thank you pointing that out again, I mentioned that she made too much money several times to be receiving government assistance ! These people are being so ignorant on here, she was not trapped she was killed ! NO ONE deserves to be killed no matter what you people think about her. The real reason she was killed was because people like you all feel that single black mothers are worthless and they wont make much of their lives. I was once a young single black mother too, but that was not the end for me. No I'm married with two beautiful kids, I work full time and I'm a full time student. So where is this so called trap that I was supposed to fall into with my boyfriend(husband today) and the government ?
      • reply
        by Clapping my hands on Aug 24, 2011 at 01:47 PM in reply to Amen
        I totally agree with YOU I am also a single black mother of two, working two jobs and going to school full time so for the ones of you who thinks that all black people rely on the governement think again. My children father live with me so does the mean that I in this so call trap to?????? People this young lady was murder not because she was getting help from the government but because she was not going to take this man BS anymore because she was doing good for herself so if YOU peopl say the government is the reason she was killed then i think the Government needs to be charged with her Murder since it was them who TRAPPED her.
  • by Advocate for Children Location: Gadsden County on Aug 21, 2011 at 04:45 AM
    It is generous and gracious that numerous of people gave these kids basic miscellaneous items they were in need of (in which they may have too much now). How many of us offered the grandfather/mother monetary donations to rent or to help find a larger home to reunite them with the kids. For those of you who think domestic violence only happen to poor welfare moms, please educate yourself to know that DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS NOT PREJUDICE…. These people lived spiritually not materialistically (Gadsden DCF please keep this in mind and look past HOW WE THINK they should be living. Look beyond your values and think about what you were taught about the history of social welfare and black families).
    • reply
      by Stop encouraging, glorifying and promoting a lifestyle that has children being born out of wed lock on Aug 25, 2011 at 11:53 AM in reply to Advocate for Children
      Lie one. No child advocated I ever met would promote the single parent out of wedlock life style that you are promoting as a life style that is beneficial for children to thrive and prosper in. You are not a child advocate; you are a black woman who is an enemy to every black child in this community. You glorify and promote a life style that will trap these children and their mother into a lifetime of poverty at the same time stating that I a white women who is promoting the exact opposite is the enemy. That is lie 2. Domestic violence happens every where. Your chances of surviving it and escaping it are a lot easier if you are not trapped by poverty, out of wed lock children and very little education. You have a much better chance of running and escaping it if you have no children, a lot of money and a lot of education backed up with a lot of job skill. The black women on this blog that are glorifying single parent no college life style are your enemy not this white women. It is the ones that you trust that can hurt you the most. They are destroying every young black women life they can possibly destroy by defending, promoting and glorifying single parent out of wed lock life style and they have no intention of stopping it. Lie three, there is no spiritualiy in the lifestyle you are promoting. In fact god specifically tells you not to do it. Here is lie four you can not do what god specifically does not want you to do, pray about it, ask for forgivness and then keep doing it and execting God to answer your prayers. Because he does not work that way. They are lying to you when they tell you differently.
  • by The truth on who killed her on Aug 19, 2011 at 06:30 AM
    If she was my friend, she would have still been alive because I would have told her to go out and live her life, to fly, to wait to have children. But she could never have been my friend because from the time she was a little girl you all convinced her white people were evil and the reality was you all were the evil ones. You all killed her. You might not have done it directly, but you certainly enabled it to happen. You all did this, not me. Own it.
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