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Death during vacation ruled murder, suspect arrested

Scottie Black is charged with an open count of murder and fraudulent use of a credit card.
Scottie Black is charged with an open count of murder and fraudulent use of a credit card.(Bay County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Feb. 16, 2022 at 4:50 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Two people are facing charges in connection with the death of a man, who was believed to have died of natural causes while vacationing in Panama City Beach.

Police say in October 2021, they responded to a hotel room after a call about an unresponsive man. The room was booked by Tyrell Sagg, Scottie Black, and Didda Johnson. Investigators say Sagg, 41, was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators say Black, 40, and Johnson, 34, told them Sagg had an underlying heart condition and must have died during the night. They also learned Sagg was Johnson’s boyfriend and all three were members of the Navajo Nation in Arizona.

A few days later, authorities say an autopsy showed Sagg’s cause of death as most likely the result of strangulation, not natural causes. Investigators say by this time, Black and Johnson had already left Florida.

Last month, two detectives from Panama City Beach Police Department flew to Arizona to question Black and Johnson. Investigators say Johnson gave incriminating statements indicating Black had something to do with Sagg’s death. She also admitted to using Sagg’s debit card after his death and lying to detectives. Investigators say when they questioned Black, he confessed to killing Sagg during an altercation at the hotel. He also admitted to using Sagg’s debit card following his death to pay for Johnson’s and his way home.

Police say Black turned himself in to local authorities over the weekend. He’s charged with an open count of murder and fraudulent use of a credit card. There is a warrant out for Johnson’s arrest on charges of accessory after-the-fact to murder, fraudulent use of a credit card, and providing false information to law enforcement. Johnson is believed to be in Arizona and has not been arrested. If you have information on this case or the whereabouts of Johnson, call the Panama City Beach Police Department at 820-233-5000.

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