Police investigators reviewed a “pool of suspects” today as they searched for the serial killer suspected of slaying five college students in their apartments near the University of Florida campus.
An 18-year-old University of Florida student who once lived in an apartment complex where two of the victims were found was questioned Thursday in the Brevard County detention center by detectives investigating the murders.
Edward Lewis Humphrey was arrested and charged with beating his grandmother at her home in Indialantic. He was being held on $1-million bond.
Humphrey was scheduled for arraignment today on aggravated battery and assault charges in Sharpes, site of the Brevard County detention center. He initially was ordered held on $10,250 bond for the assault charges.
“His bond was upgraded to $1 million earlier this morning. We have no information on why,” said Roberta Foster of the Brevard County sheriff’s office.
“I know for a fact that there were three Florida Department of Law Enforcement persons there interviewing him. I know they were from Gainesville,” said Gene Stevanus, executive director of the Brevard County public defender’s office.
At a news conference this morning in Gainesville, authorities would not say whether Humphrey was a suspect.
“At this particular time, we have a pool of suspects that may be even larger than the pool we had yesterday (Thursday). To say that we have a prime suspect or a prime two or prime three suspects would be very premature,” said Alachua County Sheriff’s Lt. Spencer Mann.
The Orlando Sentinel reported today that Humphrey has been considered a possible suspect since earlier in the week and was tracked to southern Brevard County by a specially equipped Florida Department of Law Enforcement airplane.
Humphrey lives in Gainesville and for a short time this summer lived at the Gatorwood Apartments complex, where the bodies of two of the five victims were found earlier in the week.
The newspaper said no one was allowed into his apartment, and that his fingerprints would be compared to those found in the apartments where the five students were killed. The bodies of three victims were mutilated.
Humphrey was charged with beating his grandmother Thursday morning at her home. Neighbors said Humphrey had lived at her home for about 10 years and was an honor student, but had suffered severe head injuries in an automobile accident two years ago.
They said he has since had emotional and physical problems.
Carol Hyde, manager of the Gatorwood Apartments, said Humphrey had lived there briefly but she would not say whether management had asked him to move out. She also would not say whether he lived in Building 12, where the bodies were found.