Police in Florida say that a college student killed two people before trying to eat one the victim’s faces. The sheriff in Martin County believes that 19-year-old Austin Harrouff had taken the drug Flakka before killing John Joseph Stevens III, 59, and Michelle Mishcon, 53, on the night of August 15, in their house in Tequesta, Florida. When sheriff’s deputies arrived at their home, authorities say that Harrouff was eating Stevens’ face in the home’s driveway. While Mishcon was found dead in the garage.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Harrouff Has No Known Connections to Stevens & Mishcon
Sheriff’s deputies told CBS12 that there is no known connection between Harrouff and the murder victims. The attack happened in the town of Tequesta, along Kokomo Lane, around 20 miles north of West Palm Beach.
Prior to the incident, Harrouff had been at a nearby restaurant, Duffy’s Bar and Grill, before he “became agitated,” reports Local 10.
Deputies also said that Harrouff attacked a neighbor who tried to intervene on the attack, according to the CBS12 report. That man is recovering in a local hospital with multiple stab wounds. His father told WPBF that his son is “recovering.”
When authorities arrived on the scene, they attempted to use a taser on him but it didn’t take.
Sheriff William Snyder described Harrouff as using “weapons of opportunity.” Stevens died as a result of multiple stab wounds and blunt force trauma to his head.
2. Harrouff Is in ‘Poor Condition’ in a Local Hospital
Martin County Sheriff William Snyder told the media on the afternoon of August 16 that Harrouff is in “poor condition.” It is not known if he will survive, reports the Palm Beach Post.
A witness to his arrest on August 15, Jeff Fisher, described Harrouff as “extremely strong,” according to CBS12. Adding that it took multiple officers and dogs to subdue him. Sheriff Snyder said that Harrouff was transported to a local hospital where he was “making animal-like sounds.”
3. Harrouff Gave Officers a Fake ID Identifying Himself as Austin Moore at the Scene
When he was taken into custody, Harrouff gave authorities an ID that identified him as Austin Moore, reports ABC West Palm Beach. Sheriff Snyder said at a press briefing that Harrouff’s behavior is indicative of someone who has taken Flakka. Snyder added that Harrouff is being tested for multiple substances.
Harrouff was a high school football and wrestling star Suncoast Community High School in Riviera Beach, Florida. He played as a defensive tackle according to his Hudl page. He says on his Facebook page that he is a native of Jupiter, Florida. Local 10 reports that he lives with his mother close to where the killings took place. She later told WPTV that for the week before the incident her son had been acting strange, saying things “like he had super powers, that he was here to protect people, and other odd remarks.”
One of his football teammates, Josh Lonsberry, told the Palm Beach Post that Harrouff “barely spoke, and when he did, it was always, ‘yes sir,’ or ‘no sir.’ He was a great kid and did a lot of good things for us on the D-line. It’s crazy to think that he was sober and did that. We had to beg him to be more physical on the field. He was a fun kid, and I was looking forward to seeing him up at FSU this fall. He certainly had an impact on me.”
According to his Facebook page, Harrouff is a student at Florida State University and is a member of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity. CBS12 reports that he was out with his frat brothers on the night he was arrested. The Miami Herald reports that Harrouff is a sophomore at FSU where he is studying pre-exercise science. In their report on the attack, the Palm Beach Post says that Harrouff was getting “good grades” at the school and that he has no criminal record.
4. Harrouff’s Father Is a Respected Celebrity Dentist
On his LinkedIn page, Harrouff’s father, Dr. Wade Harrouff says that he is an implantology and cosmetic dentist in Palm Beach. He operates Appearance Implant and Laser Dentistry in Jupiter, Florida. The Palm Beach Post reports that Dr. Harrouff has “has appeared on television, radio and in published journals.” The newspaper adds that Dr. Harrouff and his wife, Mina, have lived in the Jupiter area since the early 2000s.
5. Michelle Mishcon’s Father Is a Former Local Mayor
Speaking to Local 10, Jeff Mishcon, the former mayor of North Miami Beach, confirmed that his daughter, Michelle had been killed. In their report, the station describes Jeff Mishcon as “barely able to speak.”
In 1997, his wife and Michelle’s mother, Patricia Mishcon, died of a heart attack at the age of 53, according to her Sun-Sentinel obituary. That tribute mentions that the couple had five children and that Jeff Mishcon speculated that drugs may have contributed to his wife’s heart attack.
The Patricia A. Mishcon Athletic Field in North Miami Beach is named for her.
One of their neighbors, Amy Lourie, told the Treasure Coast Palm, “They were great neighbors and they were always having fun and always kind to everybody. They had a golf cart, they would go around, ride their dog around…If there was something going on there would be John and Michelle waving from their garage, watching the game or having fun.”
On her Facebook page, Michelle Mishcon says that she’s a native of North Miami Beach and was working at the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network at the time of her death.
The Treasure Coast Palm reports that authorities are working to contact a 26-year-old woman who is connected to Harrouff in some way. The Palm Beach Post later reported that woman was Stevens’ daughter, Ivy, she had recently moved out of her father’s home. Despite the speculation, she has no connection to Harrouff.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that doses of the drug are available for around $5. In that same report, from September 2014, the newspaper said that in February, in the Orlando area, there had been zero seizures of the drug. At the time of the article, that number had risen to 84.
In April 2015, a Melbourne man, Kenneth Crowder, was arrested after he tried to have sex with a tree while declaring that he was Thor, reports Click Orlando.
The Associated Press reports that Flakka is usually made in China or Pakistan. The name derives from the Spanish word for an attractive woman.