FORT WALTON BEACH -- A homeless man has been arrested and charged with murder in the death of his girlfriend of eight years.
Daniel Ray Godwin, who is 38, is being held without bond in the Okaloosa County Jail.
RELATED: Friend searches for clues in homeless woman’s murder
When deputies first talked to him after the body of 41-year-old Charlene Begay was found under a blanket on a vacant lot, Godwin referred to her in the past tense.
He also said she had fallen.
Law enforcement was called to the lot near the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Mary Esther Boulevard mid-day Sunday by Begay’s daughter, who went there to check on her.
The daughter told deputies she had dropped her mother off there on Saturday, according to Godwin’s arrest report. She said she went back to check because she was concerned that her mother wasn’t answering her phone.
RELATED: Two homeless women die in less than 6 months in FWB, authorities continue to investigate
At first, she thought her mother was sleeping but when she pulled the blanket back, she noticed her mother had significant bruising to her face and that she was dead, the report said.
A bicycle that Godwin had been riding the day before was nearby.
Begay’s daughter told deputies that when she’d dropped her mother off the day before, Godwin had become "irate and began screaming at them." He also threatened multiple acts of violence, the report said.
He had a history of violence toward Begay, according to witness statements, the report said.
About three hours after Begay’s body was found, Godwin was seen near the crime scene. He then told investigators that Begay had fallen while intoxicated, which is how she sustained injuries to her face.
He then said that he "loved" her.
He was released that night but contacted the OCSO the next morning asking about his cell phone. He then said he hadn’t seen Begay at all on Sunday, which contradicted his statement from the day before.
Later on Monday, someone called the OCSO to say Godwin had confessed to killing her. This individual said Godwin had said "he kicked the victim’s teeth in. I feel so bad I could just kill myself." Godwin would not tell that individual where Begay was so he could check on her, the report said.
Godwin replied that Begay would be OK.
The killing of another homeless woman back in January remains under investigation. Erin Elizabeth Hindes, who was 52, was found dead on a vacant lot just off Beal Parkway.
A reward of $3,000 has been offered for information leading to the arrest of whoever killed Hindes.