Robert Hayes

Robert Hayes was arrested on September 15, 2019 and charged in a series of murders that took place in Daytona Beach and West Palm Beach. The assailant was known as the Daytona Beach Killer.

The FGG investigation was performed under the leadership of CeCe Moore of Parabon Nanolabs and Lori Napolitano of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). The four Daytona Beach murders are linked forensically through ballistics – a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson, and there is DNA from two of the crime scenes. The initial confirmation was made through the surreptitious sampling of a cigarette butt Hayes had discarded.

Hayes is charged in the December 24, 2005 murder of 45-year-old Laquetta Gunther in Daytona Beach. She was assaulted and shot in the head while kneeling down.

He is also charged in the death of 34-year-old Julie Green in Daytona Beach. Green had been shot and her body was found in a ditch about 3 weeks after Gunther’s body was found.

He is charged in the February 24, 2006 murder of 35-year-old Iwana Patton in Daytona Beach. She was helping babysit her niece’s children when she went home to get some clothes and never returned.

He is also charged in the March 7, 2016 murder of 32-year-old Rachel Elizabeth Bey in West Palm Beach. Bey had been beaten and strangled. Her body was found on Beeline Highway, near Jupiter, Florida. DNA recovered from her body has matched the DNA found on two of the Daytona Beach victims, Gunther, and Green. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in these cases.

Hayes is not currently charged with the murder of 30-year-old Stacey Gage. There is a lack of physical evidence tying Hayes to Gage’s death, due to the advanced state of decomposition of her remains. Her body was found on January 2, 2008, but investigators think she was killed sometime in late 2007.

A homeless man named David Lindsay was arrested on June 10, 2006 and detained for about 10 days until he was cleared by DNA testing.

Beginning in February 2008, police begin requesting that all arrestees voluntarily provide DNA samples to further the investigation into the Daytona Beach Killer. This move was controversial, and civil liberties lawyers and the ACLU raised objections to this practice. It is not known how many DNA samples were taken in this manner.

Hayes was convicted of the murders of Laquetta Gunther, Julie Green, and Iwana Patton by a jury in Volusia County on February 22, 2022. On March 2, 2022, Hayes was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences. Prosecutors had sought the death penalty. However, the jury could not come to a unanimous decision on the death penalty, which is a requirement in Florida for its imposition.


Aboraya, Abe. “Robert Hayes Charged in Daytona Beach Serial Killer Cold Case.” WMFE News, November 21, 2019. Accessed December 21, 2020.

Balona, Patricio G. “Daytona Serial Killings Arrest: Suspect Charged, Held in South Florida.” Daytona Beach News-Journal, September 15, 2019, last modified September 16, 2019. Accessed December 21, 2020.

Butler, Andreas. “Niece Seeks Justice, Respect, for Murder Victim.” Daytona Times, September 28, 2019. Accessed December 21, 2020.

Fernandez, Frank. “Florida Serial Killings Suspect Robert Hayes Indicted in 3 Deaths; Survivor Comes Forward to Police, Attorney Says.” Daytona Beach News-Journal, November 21, 2019. Accessed December 21, 2020.

Luperon, Alberto. “Convicted Daytona Beach Serial Killer to Serve Three Consecutive Life Sentences behind Bars: Judge.” Law & Crime, March 3, 2022. Accessed January 13, 2023.

Luperon, Alberto. “Robert Hayes Found Guilty of Being Daytona Beach Serial Killer.” Law & Crime, February 22, 2022. Accessed February 23, 2022.

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. “Robert Hayes Arrested for the Murder of Rachel Bey.” Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (Press Release), September 16, 2019. Accessed December 21, 2020.

Reed, Kristen, and Rachel Jackson. “Daytona Cops to Take DNA in All Arrests.” Orlando Sentinel, February 7, 2008. Accessed December 21, 2010.

Whigham, Julius. “West Palm Man Facing 2016 Murder Charge Indicted in Three Central Florida Murders.” Palm Beach Post, November 21, 2019. Accessed December 21, 2020.

Wilson, Sarah, Katlyn Brieskorn, and James Tutten. “Police: Man Charged with Murder in Palm Beach Linked to Daytona Beach Serial Killer Case.” WFTV 9 News ABC, September 17, 2019. Accessed December 21, 2020.


First Name Robert
Last Name Hayes
Other Names Daytona Beach Killer
Victims 5 (Details)
IGG Started nd
Case Cleared 2019-09-15
IGG Org FDLE;Parabon


Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
1259 Laquetta Gunther 45 2005-12-24 Daytona Beach, FL Daytona Beach PD First degree murder Accused was convicted after a trial Volusia CO CRIM CIR CT
1258 Julie Green 34 2006-01-14 Daytona Beach, FL Daytona Beach PD First degree murder Accused was convicted after a trial Volusia CO CRIM CIR CT
1257 Iwana Patton 35 2006-02-24 Daytona Beach, FL Daytona Beach PD First degree murder Accused was convicted after a trial Volusia CO CRIM CIR CT
1256 Stacey Gage 30 2008-01-02 Daytona Beach, FL Daytona Beach PD Second degree murder No charge against accused; or charges have not yet been laid n/a
1260 Rachel Bay 32 2016-03-07 West Palm Beach, FL Palm Beach CSO First degree murder Case is currently pending before the court Palm Beach CO CIR CRIM CT

Last updated: February 9, 2024

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Case data and narrative licensed under CC BY 4.0: Dowdeswell, Tracey (2023), “Forensic Genetic Genealogy Project v. 2022”, Mendeley Data, V1, doi: 10.17632/jcycgvhm96.1. All other content, including photos, have been added.