Corporal Cleo L. Tomlinson, Jr.

Corporal Cleo L. Tomlinson, Jr.

Florida Highway Patrol, Florida

End of Watch Monday, July 13, 1981

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Cleo L. Tomlinson, Jr.

Corporal Cleo Tomlinson, Trooper Robert Pruitt, and Trooper Merle Cook were killed in an airplane accident while searching for two break-and-enter suspects in St. John's County.

The suspects were charged with three counts of homicide in connection with the deaths of all three troopers. The primary burglary suspect was convicted of burglary and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was released only to be sentenced to 6 years for cocaine sale in October of 2010 and he currently resides in the Florida State Prison System.

Corporal Tomlinson had served with the Florida Highway Patrol for 19 years.


  • Age 42
  • Tour 19 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Aircraft accident

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Thank you for your service and please know that your sacrifice will always be remembered. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

July 13, 2020

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