A Ukrainian man has been charged with stabbing his adoptive parents in Florida.
Dima Tower, 21, allegedly killed his adoptive parents, Robbie and Jennifer Tower, 49 and 51, at their home in North Port on Friday night (September 1).
Police were called to the scene by a neighbor who said she heard yelling and banging on her door just before midnight.
The neighbor said he opened the door and there was no one there, but there was a pool of blood on the ground.
Responding officers found Dima Tower with blood on his clothes, with the trunk of his car closed.
He allegedly ignored police orders to freeze, got into his car and fled the scene. Officers pursued the vehicle at high speed, deploying other units to engage the vehicle with spike strips on Interstate 75. As they punctured the tires, the suspect then fled on foot through a wooded area.
After an eight-hour search, police finally located Dima Tower on Saturday morning near Interstate 75 and Laurel Road in Sarasota County and arrested him.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to them and the family members. We are trying to do justice for them as much as we can. We already have one person in custody after a meaningful night search through some wooded and wet areas, we’ve had storms recently, so it’s very difficult to slide. The Sarasota County Office in Venice is leading the charge in the search for this man. In fact, we are assisting, we have K-9s, helicopters, SWAT teams looking for this individual,” Josh Taylor from the North Port Police Department told WinkNews.
The couple was found dead, their bodies lying on their heads with blood dripping onto the floor of their living room, WinkNews said.
The investigators said that they believe that the attack may have continued for a long time, because they found an alarming amount of spatters and pools of blood in their house, such as the master bedroom, living room, inside the front door and in the kitchen, local reports said .
Robbie and Jennifer Tower are a devout Christian missionary couple, who work as real estate agents. They often visit Ukraine on Christian missions. They adopted their son, who was 14 years old at the time, seven years ago from an orphanage. Robbie Tower’s uncle, Warren Rines, said the orphanage treated the young man inhumanely.
“He had bruises in the orphanage. When they went out to eat, he wanted six hot dogs. He can’t get much to eat. These orphanages are like prisons for children,” he said New York Post.
The Ukrainian-born suspect had a troubled childhood; his mother died when he was young and his father, who was an alcoholic abandoned him.
After they adopted their son, he allegedly showed a lot of violent behavior before he stabbed and killed his parents, according to Mr Rines. He often started fights at school and once left Robbie Tower with a black eye, which led to him being sent to stay with their relatives for a while.
Court records show that Dima Tower was arrested in 2020 after a physical fight with someone inside the victim’s home. The state attorney has decided not to prosecute the case, according to WinkNews.
“I think the kid had a lot of hate for him before he came here. And I think you take it out on those closest to you,” added Mr Rines.
Mr Rines described the couple, who are unable to have biological children of their own, as “two kind, caring people” and would always buy their son whatever he wanted, including the car he was allegedly chasing police officers.
“It makes no sense, none of us understand hatred. They were the only two people in his life who tried to help him. They treated him like their own son,” added Mr Rines.
Debbie Tower, Robbie’s mother, wrote a tribute to the couple on Facebook. She said: “They spent their entire life savings to adopt him and this is how he’s paying them back… I don’t know how I’m going to do this… Rob and Jen aren’t just my children, they my best friends and we do everything together.”
The police have not disclosed the motive of the murder.