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Face-biting, murder suspect identified as FSU student

Austin Harrouff is accused of killing two people in Tequesta. Image Courtesy: Austin Harrouff/Facebook.

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. (CBS12) -- The Martin County Sheriff's Office identified the face-biting suspect accused of killing a couple near Tequesta as Florida State University student Austin Harrouff.

The 19-year-old fraternity member had no known connections to the victims. Deputies said the attack was random and unprovoked.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Harrouff stabbed John Joseph Stevens III and Michelle Karen Mishcon to death Monday night before attacking a neighbor who tried to intervene.

Deputies encountered Harrouff biting off the face of Stevens. Authorities tried to use a stun gun to get Harrouff off the victim, but that didn't work. Deputies managed to get Harouff free with a K-9 and manpower, but called it "a struggle."


Harrouff is being tested for a variety drugs, including bath salts and Flakka. He has tested negative in the first few tests, however, deputies are waiting for the remaining results.

Deputies said that something was agitating him before the attack. His agitation continued as he was transported to a local hospital and began making animal sounds.

Sheriff William Snyder said these are characteristics of a person taking bath salts or Flakka.

Snyder added Harrouff used "weapons of opportunity," but right now there is no way to tell who used what during the struggle.

Leading up to the attack, Harrouff was at Duffy's Sports Grill with his fraternity brothers. His brothers searched for him when he disappeared, according to investigators.

Neighbor Jeff Fisher, 47, saw the attack and tried to fight Harrouff off of Stevens. Snyder said that Harrouff was extremely strong. It took multiple deputies, K-9s and a Taser to subdue Harrouff.

This is a developing story. CBS12 will provide updates as they become available.


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