New information emerged in the cannibalistic double murders in Florida last week. Surveillance video shows Austin Harrouff leaving a restaurant one hour before he allegedly stabbed three people — two fatally in a random attack — and before police found the Florida State University (or FSU) student chewing off the face of a lifeless body, according to the Miami Herald.
The Martin County Sheriff’s Department obtained footage from inside Duffy’s Restaurant in Jupiter on Monday, located approximately one mile east of I-95. Harrouff was having dinner with his parents before he “stormed out” of the eatery.
The short video, with a date stamp of 2016-08-15, shows a white male, purported to be the 19-year-old suspect, walking past an employee. The man in the video is seen donning a red ball cap, blue V-neck shirt, loose white shorts, lime green socks, and sneakers.
Police say Harrouff walked for some three miles and encountered John Stevens and Michelle Mishcon Stevens, a couple sitting in their garage at their Tequesta residence. Jeff Fisher, a neighbor, reportedly witnessed the cannibal attack. Fisher intervened when he saw, according to his frantic 911 calls, “a young man beating up a woman across the street … in a garage.”
Later, in the recording, the gravely injured man says he is in need of medical attention and bleeding profusely. Police say the man was stabbed five times when he tried to stop Harrouff’s attack on the middle-aged couple. He is expected to survive from the non-life-threatening injuries.
Police arrived moments after the man and woman expired to find Harrouff biting chunks of flesh from the dead man’s face and abdominal area. Officers used Taser shots and a K-9 dog to subdue the man, to no avail. It took three officers to gain control of the “grunting” and “growling” suspect, who reportedly said during the scuffle, “Test me, you won’t find any drugs.”
Tequesta slayings suspect ID’d as Austin Kelly Harrouff, 19, a FSU student with good grades. https://t.co/b8K3XLolXV pic.twitter.com/guqFxh9bGo
— The Palm Beach Post (@pbpost) August 16, 2016
Investigators are at a crossroads over what compelled Harrouff to attack a couple, murder them, and indulge in a cannibalistic face-eating act. Unaware their son had committed the heinous crime, his parents called emergency operators hours later to report that he had gone missing; Harrouff was last seen leaving the restaurant where he dined with them earlier.
Mina Harrouff said her son was acting strangely during dinner and mumbling to himself. She said he did not have his wallet or identification on his person. When police encountered the suspect, he gave them a fake name. At the time, investigators didn’t connect the missing person to the man involved in the double murder.
Harrouff was taken to a local hospital and listed in critical condition and connected to a breathing machine. It’s unclear how he was injured. Deputies conducted routine tests for narcotics (cannabis, heroin, and cocaine) and received negative results.
FSU student Austin Kelly Harrouff allegedly ‘stabbed to death a couple and bit off man’s face’ https://t.co/ulEuQ8YBpU PCP? Flakka?
— Elena Haskins (@ElenaHaskins) August 16, 2016
However, police obtained blood and other tissues and transported them to the FBI’s lab in Quantico, Virginia and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for additional toxicology testing. At this point, police and family members are confused about what led Harrouff to snap and commit murder. Martin County Sheriff William Snyder weighed in on the lack of motive at this time.
“That’s what makes this so difficult for all of us to process. To all of us, none of this makes sense. There’s just not one thing in this case that seems to make sense.”
In an earlier report by the Inquisitr, some have raised the possibility that the suspect in the latest cannibal killings was possibly under the influence of the “flakka” drug.
The synthetic substance is thought to have originated in China and eventually made its way to the States, where it is cropping up in major cities. Florida is reportedly ground zero, and the drug is said to have reached epidemic levels.
“As for what flakka does to the body, the drug causes paranoia and states of ‘excited delirium,’ during which a user seems to gain almost super human strength. In the case of Austin Harrouff, Hollywood Life reports that local police were physically unable to remove the FSU teen from the body of his male victim. Authorities were forced to use stun guns and a K-9 unit to get the suspect under control.”
Trisha Kukuvka, a Sheriff’s Department spokesperson, said when Harrouff is discharged from the hospital, he faces multiple counts of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree attempted murder, and at least one additional charge for resisting arrest.
The suspect’s parents released a statement after the memorial of the Stevens couple.
“The Harrouff family expresses their deepest sympathy for the pain and suffering caused by Austin Harrouff. There are no words we can offer to give any real comfort for this tragic loss.
“We love our son and know that he is not the person some are making him to be for their own purposes. We will allow the full legal process to find the facts and truth here.”
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]