Tavar Disappearance Suspect Awaiting Return to Florida | Crime

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Tavar Disappearance Suspect Awaiting Return to Florida
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SEATTLE, Wash. - A King County, Wash. judge found probable cause to hold Joseph Roberts in a Seattle jail.

During a hearing Wednesday afternoon, the judge set Roberts' bail at $500,000, and he's being held in the King County Correctional Facility.

Seattle police arrested Roberts, 26, Tuesday night, after the QGC, an upscale grocery store in University Village, reportedly caught him trying to steal $14 worth of meat.

MORE: Community news from Seattle's University District

While talking to investigators, police there said Roberts initially told them his name was Andrew Lake, but said he couldn't give them an accurate date of birth.

Roberts then gave them his real name, and after they searched, officers learned that Roberts was wanted on warrants here in Florida.

They contacted the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, who informed them that they think Roberts has something to do with the disappearance of South Ponte Vedra Beach resident Brittany Tavar.

Deputies from our area have now traveled to Washington to meet with Roberts.  They're hoping he'll tell them what happened to Tavar.

At last check, Seattle officers were still trying to locate Tavar's Rav4, which Roberts was reportedly seen driving.  In fact, officers in Wyoming pulled Roberts over for speeding in the vehicle, but it was before Tavar was reported missing, so they let him go.

Tavar's sister, Patricia Bellamah, told First Coast News this arrest brings the family some relief.

She believes Roberts can provide investigators information about where her sister is located.

Tavar met Roberts at a Barnes and Noble bookstore in St. Augustine.  Tavar allowed Roberts, a drifter according to investigators, to live with her in her South Ponte Vedra home.

Weeks later, Tavar was last seen in July pumping gas at a gas station on Coastal Highway in Vilano Beach.

First Coast News reporter Ryan Duffy is in Seattle, and he'll have the latest on the investigation on First Coast News and firstcoastnews.com.

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