A man on probation for bank robbery has been charged with kidnapping and killing a Florida nanny nicknamed “Jenny Poppins” by the family she cared for.
Scott Edward Nelson, 53, was arrested in a Jacksonville, Florida motel on Oct. 1 for violating his probation for a federal bank robbery conviction.
Later he was identified as the man caught on surveillance video withdrawing $300 from an ATM using the bank card of the murdered woman.
ICYMI: Police are still searching for a missing Winter Park nanny who was last seen on Wednesday. https://t.co/hcAUlRbLaJ
— News 13 (@MyNews13) September 30, 2017
In November, Nelson sent a semi-coherent 10-page letter to a federal judge claiming he was not guilty of the crime, and possibly implicating a female companion who was staying with him when he was arrested, The Orlando Sentinel reported. Police have not commented on this aspect of the case.
On Dec. 6, the Winter Park Police Department announced that they would be formally charging Nelson with first-degree murder, kidnapping with a weapon, burglary of a home with an assault, carjacking, robbery, and tampering with a witness to hinder communication with law enforcement.
The victim of this kidnapping and murder was Jennifer Fulford, a 56-year-old married woman who worked taking care of the home and family of real estate developer Reid Berman in the wealthy Florida town of Winter Park. Barman, a single father, and his two children nicknamed her “Jenny Poppins,” after the fictional magical nanny from the musical of the same name. She had worked as a personal assistant and a general manager of the household for six years.
Fulford, who lived with her husband in the neighboring city of Altamonte Springs, was last seen leaving a dentist’s office in Winter Park on Sept. 27. She apparently returned to the home where she worked, because her purse was found there.
When Fulford failed to pick up her employer’s son from school, everyone who knew her grew concerned.
Her husband posted a plea on Facebook for help finding his missing wife.
Fulford’s body was spotted three days later by a searching Orange County Sheriff’s Department helicopter. The body had been dumped in a wooded area off Apopka-Vineland Road in Orlando. Her wrists and ankles were bound, her face wrapped in duct tape, and she had been stabbed to death with some sort of cutting tool, Fox News reported.
Fulford’s vehicle was found several days later, about 20 miles from her body. Inside it, police found a blood-stained towel, a t-shirt, and a watch Fulford had been wearing on the day of her disappearance, Fox reported. DNA from the blood reportedly matched Fulford.
Letter to Judge
Nelson wrote a rambling, expletive-filled letter to Judge Anne C. Conway of the Middle District of Florida at some point in November, the Sentinel reported.
In the letter, Nelson claims that he did not commit the murder but might know who did.
“Could it have been a disgruntled friend of the real-estate extraordinaire whom lost his nanny?” Nelson asked in the letter. “Did the police ever find the note wedged in the tree? Not very observant.”
He pointed out that “there were a lot of women’s clothes” in the hotel room in which he was arrested.
“Allegedly, I kidnapped/murdered a woman in Winter Park and have spoken to no law enforcement. Their [sic] are many things they don’t know!”
Nelson concluded the letter by asking for special privileges in exchange for information about the case. He wanted to be given his own cell and a job at the prison cafeteria so he could have more food. The judge denied his requests.
Nelson was on probation after serving five years for a 2010 bank robbery in Daytona Beach.
The Sentinel reported that Nelson had a history of mental illness and substance abuse. The court ordered a psychological evaluation in October. The results have not been published.
If found guilty, do you think Scott Edward Nelson should spend the rest of his life in jail, if only to keep law-abiding citizens safe? Post your comments below.
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