A Dad Was Killed on Vacation in Fla. — and Now His Wife and 2 Sons Are Charged in Case

The body of David Rainey was found in a canal behind a house he and his family had rented hours after he vanished in 2021

<p>Dixie County Sheriff

Dixie County Sheriff's Office/Facebook

David Rainey and sons

For two years, authorities sought tips in the killing of a Florida man whose body was found submerged in a canal during a weekend getaway.

In the summer of 2021, David Rainey, 52, of Palm Coast, was vacationing in Suwannee with his wife , Cindy Rainey, their children, and a family friend, Jeffery Sawyer in a house they rented for the weekend, the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

On the morning of July 25, 2021, Cindy reported that her husband of 21 years was missing.

Cindy told deputies that her husband "walked away from the rental house on Saturday evening, after the couple had gotten into an argument," the sheriff's office said in a statement in Dec. 2021.

<p>Dixie County Sheriff's Office/Facebook</p> David Rainey in the clothes he was wearing when he vanished.

Dixie County Sheriff's Office/Facebook

David Rainey in the clothes he was wearing when he vanished.

David left without his glasses, wallet and cell phone, the sheriff’s office said.

After an "extensive search of the area," deputies located David’s body that night in the canal in the backyard of the rental house. He had been stabbed multiple times in the chest and was placed in the water after he was killed, the sheriff’s office said.

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His death was ruled a homicide.

Now, more than two years after his death, on Oct. 25, three members of David’s family — his wife and two sons — were arrested in connection with his death.

Investigators with the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office traveled to Bunnell, Flagler County, and arrested Cindy and son Bailey Rainey.

They traveled to Orlando, in Orange County, to arrest Jack Rainey, another son.

<p>Dixie County Sheriff's Office/Facebook</p> Jack Rainey, Cindy Rainey and Bailey Rainey

Dixie County Sheriff's Office/Facebook

Jack Rainey, Cindy Rainey and Bailey Rainey

All three are charged with tampering with evidence.

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Police have not released a possible motive in David's slaying. They have not said who is suspected of killing David.

Born in Redlands, Calif., David became a welder and mechanic on steam and gas turbines, according to his obituary.

"David traveled all over the United States and the world for his work," his obituary says. "He was respected by his peers for his excellent skills, work ethic and dedication to getting the job done right."

David, the obituary continues, "was a natural athlete and loved that his sons shared his talent. Both boys have been active in baseball starting with T-ball and continued through the high school varsity baseball program." It adds that he enjoyed traveling with his family to places like Alaska, the White House, and New York City.

A GoFundMe launched in David's honor asked for "a charitable donation be made to his son's Bailey & Jack for their future." It raised $475.

Cindy Rainey and Bailey Rainey are being held without bond at the Flagler County jail.

Jack Rainey is being held without bond at the Orange County jail.

It is unclear whether they have retained attorneys who can comment for them.

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