Grand jury indicts ‘potential serial killer’ for murder of two women in Orange County

A man who is considered a “potential serial killer” has been indicted by an Orange County grand jury for the murder of 41-year-old Fatia Flowers and 44-year-old Nichole Daniels.

On Wednesday, 25-year-old Carlos Yadiel Baez-Nieves was indicted on two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of tampering with physical evidence, and one count of driving with a suspended license.

Carlos Yadiel Baez-Nieves. (Orange County Jail booking photo)
Carlos Yadiel Baez-Nieves (Orange County Jail booking photo)

According to an Orange County Sheriff’s Office arrest report, deputies responded to the intersection of Trevarthon Road and Harrel Road on March 14, 2024, in reference to a nude woman who was found deceased on the side of the road. She was later identified as Fatia Flowers.  

An autopsy revealed that Flowers’ body had signs of “external neck trauma,” leading the Medical Examiner’s Office to believe that she had been strangled.

A month later, on April 17, 2024, OCSO deputies responded to the same intersection in reference to another nude woman being found deceased on the side of the road. She was later identified as Nichole Daniels.

During an autopsy, the Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Daniels also had signs of “acute trauma to the neck.”

OCSO detectives determined that the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Flowers and Daniels were similar. According to the sheriff’s office, both victims were transient in the area of east Orlando, had a “history of narcotics usage,” and were both found nude at the same intersection approximately one month apart.

Nearly a week after the second victim’s body was discovered, OCSO detectives made contact with numerous witnesses who are transient and reside in the general area where both victims were found.

Detectives learned that both victims were known to frequent a 7-Eleven located in the 1700 block of N Econlockhatchee Trail, and they frequently lived in the wooded area behind the convenience store.

Witnesses told law enforcement that Daniels had arranged an “overnight date” on the evening prior to her death, which meant that she was going to “prostitute herself with an individual,” according to the report.

The sheriff’s office stated that on April 16, 2024, shortly before 10:30 p.m., Daniels was last seen entering a white Ford F-150 pickup truck near the 7-Eleven on N Econlockhatchee Trail. She was observed on the convenience store’s surveillance footage, and nearby license plate readers provided investigators with the pickup truck’s license plate number.

Carlos Yadiel Baez Nieves Ford F 150 pickup truck belonging to him (2)
The second victim, Daniels, was observed entering this Ford F-150 pickup truck on April 16, 2024. (Photo: Orange County Sheriff’s Office)

According to OCSO, the same Ford F-150 pickup truck was spotted at a residence located in the 1100 block of Creek Avenue in Orlando on April 25, 2024. This location is a little over two miles away from the 7-Eleven where the vehicle had picked up Daniels, and it was around one-and-a-half miles away from the intersection where the bodies of both victims had been found.

Carlos Yadiel Baez Nieves Ford F 150 pickup truck belonging to him
The Ford F-150 pickup truck belonging to Carlos Yadiel Baez-Nieves. (Photo: Orange County Sheriff’s Office)

Detectives conducted surveillance on the home and pickup truck, and they observed Baez-Nieves entering the vehicle on numerous occasions. The sheriff’s office stated that a couple was also observed at the home, and they proceeded to purchase the pickup truck from Baez-Nieves for $3,200.

The couple took possession of the pickup truck and drove away from the home. Deputies had already obtained a search warrant for the pickup truck, and they conducted a traffic stop and spoke with the occupants. The vehicle was then seized as evidence, according to the report.

The sheriff’s office stated that a detective located Baez-Nieves in the 2500 block of W Colonial Drive, and he was placed under arrest. After being read his Miranda rights, Baez-Nieves admitted that he had met with the second victim, Daniels, at the 7-Eleven on N Econlockhatchee Trail on April 16, 2024.

Baez-Nieves allegedly told investigators that he made arrangements to pay Daniels for sex before driving her back to his home on Creek Avenue. After having sex, Baez-Nieves stated that he agreed to take her home, and he stopped at a local gas station to refuel his pickup truck.

While at the gas station, Baez-Nieves stated that he realized money was missing from his wallet, and a physical altercation with Daniels ensued. He allegedly told investigators that he then choked the victim until she “went limp, according to the report.

During the post-Miranda interview, Baez-Nieves allegedly further admitted that he traveled to the intersection of Trevarthon Road and Harrel Road, pushed Daniels’ body out of the vehicle, and then drove home.

When confronted about the murder of the first victim, Flowers, Baez-Nieves admitted to meeting her at a 7-Eleven located in the 9500 block of E Colonial Drive for sexual intercourse. He allegedly claimed that after engaging in “rough” sex, he proceeded to “choke her with two hands until she went lifeless,” according to the report.

The report stated that Baez-Nieves also admitted to investigators that after choking Flowers, he dumped her nude body at the intersection of Trevarthon Road and Harrel Road.

After allegedly confessing to the murders of Flowers and Daniels, Baez-Nieves was booked into Orange County Jail. Following Baez-Nieves’ arrest, Orange County Sheriff Mina released the following statement:

“I’m confident that through their vigilance in these cases, our detectives have prevented Baez-Nieves from becoming a prolific serial killer. (He) clearly targeted women he thought wouldn’t be missed. He murdered them and dumped them on the side of the road like trash. But our detectives knew that Fatia and Nichole’s lives were meaningful – and that they are worthy of justice.”

On Wednesday, June 26, 2024, the State Attorney’s Office for the Ninth Judicial Circuit stated that “sufficient evidence” was presented to a grand jury to secure indictments against Baez-Nieves for the murder of both victims.

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