NORTH PORT, Fla. — The suspect in a double murder case is now in custody after two of his family members were found stabbed to death in a home.
According to the North Port Police Department (NPPD), officers responded to a disturbance on Mallicoat Road just before midnight on August 31.
A caller advised of a suspicious person in the area and told police that, prior to her calling, a woman had knocked on her door and screamed 'I need help.' When the caller opened her door, the woman was gone but there was a large amount of blood on her front steps.
When officers arrived on scene they saw a man, later identified as 21-year-old Dima Tower, with visible blood on him getting into a vehicle. They tried to stop him, but he fled and lead deputies on a chase down I-75.
Police said the vehicle was forced to stop near mile marker 192. Tower then got out of the vehicle and ran into the woods.
NPPD and Sarasota County Sheriff's Office conducted a massive search in the area, shutting down the interstate.
Just after 8 a.m. Friday morning, after more than seven hours of searching, police found and arrested Tower near I-75 and Laurel Rd.
NPPD has confirmed that the victims were family of Tower, and that Tower's address matches that at which the incident took place. A witness told police she had seen Tower at the home over the last month.
NPPD also said deputies responded to a domestic incident involving Tower at the same address about three years ago.
Court records show Tower was charged with battery and tampering with a witness after an incident at the same home in October of 2020. Tower plead not guilty and the charges were declined in circuit court.