Woman shot to death over drug debt, dumped in woods in Orange County, deputies say

Orange County Sheriff’s deputies say a 29-year-old man shot to death a woman over an apparent drug debt, then dumped her body in woods in the middle of the day.

The allegations were detailed in court papers for Joshua Emmanuel Delarie Simon, who was arrested last week on a first-degree murder charge in the death of Kimberly Renee East, 27.

East’s decomposing body was found about 8:30 p.m. May 29 in the 900 block of McCormick Road, not far from Lake Apopka.

East’s friend told deputies a man, later identified as Simon, picked her up from his home about 2 p.m. May 25, according to documents. Simon’s brother, Josef Harris, also was a passenger in the car, deputies said.

About 15 minutes later, deputies say Simon’s car was captured on surveillance video driving to a dead end street near where East’s body was found.

The car then sped away, investigators said.

The friend said he kept calling Simon, but he didn’t pick up the phone until later that afternoon, saying East was “fine and she would be returning soon,” according to court records.

Simon told deputies in a June interview that after he picked East up from her friend’s home, he dropped her and another man off at a motel on North Orange Blossom Trail.

When deputies talked to Simon again last week after he was arrested on unrelated drug charges, detectives confronted him with the video evidence.

“Upon seeing the evidence in front of him, Simon began to physically get sick,” according to the affidavit.

After the interview, Simon called his mother from the Orange County Jail and told her to have his brother “disappear,” the affidavit said.

Deputies picked up Harris, 31, on an unrelated warrant on Friday, records show. He has not been charged in East’s homicide.

Simon and Harris were being held Monday at the Orange County Jail without bail.

dharris@orlandosentinel.com or @DavidHarrisOS