Man accused of carjacking couple in Lake Forest, slashing victim’s neck extradited from Florida

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A 42-year-old Florida man has been extradited to Orange County and charged months after allegedly carjacking a couple in Lake Forest, officials said Tuesday.

Michael John Wood, of Jensen Beach, Florida, was arrested on June 25.

He has been charged with two counts of carjacking, two counts of inflicting injury on an elder adult, one felony count of second-degree robbery and two enhancements for the personal use of a deadly weapon, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

The incident occurred on Dec. 20, 2020, when a couple described as elderly was unloading groceries from their vehicle in Lake Forest and someone in a mask attacked them, officials said in a news release.

During the incident, the woman was pushed to the ground and the man was slashed in the neck with a box cutter. The assailant then stole their vehicle and at least one wallet.

Authorities searched the area for the suspect to no avail.

Then, on Dec. 31, the couple’s vehicle was found and additional evidence was collected, officials said.

“Based on DNA samples collected by the Orange County Crime Lab from one of the victim’s neck, along with items found inside the car, Wood was identified as a possible suspect,” officials said.

Wood was eventually found in Florida, though officials discovered he lived in Lake Forest at the time of the crime.

An arrest warrant was issued for Wood, who was eventually taken into custody. He was booked into Orange County jail on July 20, officials said.

“This was a violent crime committed on two unsuspecting elderly residents who were just unloading groceries at their home,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in the news release. “Technology and teamwork combined to identify and track down this individual and bring him back to Orange County to be held accountable.” 

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