FROSTPROOF — A night of “catfishing” ended in the tragic murders of three “best buddies” at Lake Streety on Friday night, said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd during a press conference Saturday morning.
The men, who were identified as Keven Springfield (30), Damion Tillman (23) and Brandon Rollins (27), were all from Frostproof. The families waived Marsy’s Law and allowed the identities of the victims to be released in order to aid the investigation.
On Monday, during a follow-up press conference, Judd shared a few more details and announced that the Polk County Sheriff’s Office was collaborating with Heartland Crime Stoppers, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Sheriff’s Association to offer a $30,000 reward for credible information leading to an arrest — up from a $5,000 reward announced over the weekend.
If anyone has information about the crime, they are urged to contact PCSO at 863-298-6200. Anonymous tips can be called into Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477.
“We are keeping most of the information close to the chest, but it’s important for you to know and for the community to be as outraged as we are. These folks appear to be beaten and shot,” Judd said. “Did you hear me? Beaten and shot.”
Judd also said the crime scene was one of the worst he has ever been to, saying the men were not just murdered, they were “massacred.”
Judd also said he suspects more than one murderer in the safe, quaint and quiet country setting.
According to Judd, the three men have known each other for years and often spent time together socially. He explained that the three men were to meet at Streety Lake for “night fishing.” Judd said the area is very remote and called it the “middle of no place.”
Although subject to change, the sheriff explained the plan was for the three to meet up at the fishing area in two vehicles about 10 p.m. It appeared to PCSO that Tillman drove his red pickup truck and arrived first. Judd said it “appeared that while the suspects were in the process of murdering Damion,” Rollins and Springfield drove up in a white pickup truck.
“They were shot up and ultimately murdered,” Judd said.
Rollins was able to call and wake up his dad with a plea for help. His father got up and drove the 10 minutes to the scene, forgetting his cell phone in the process.
Judd said when the father got to the scene, he was able to talk to his son before he died. PCSO is not releasing any details of the conversation between father and son.
The father drove to a convenience store in Sun Ray and asked for help.
Judd said it was purely speculation that the victims knew their killer(s) because they were in a remote site filled with cow pastures and lakes.
Polk Editor Steven Ryzewski contributed to this report.