By MARK OSBORNE, ABC NEWS
(FROSTPROOF, Fla.) — Authorities in central Florida are desperately looking for answers after three friends were found brutally murdered at a local lake late Friday. In the moments before he died, one of the victims was able to call his father and report the attack, the local sheriff’s office said.
No one has been arrested in the triple murder.
The three close friends had gone to catch catfish at a local fishing spot on Lake Streety in Frostproof, Florida, before they were killed, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
The victims were identified as Damion Tillman, 23, Keven Springfield, 30, and Brandon Rollins, 27.
According to the sheriff’s office, Rollins called his father at about 10 p.m. Friday and managed to only say “help.” He quickly jumped into his car and went to where his son had said he was going fishing.
“When he arrived he found his son Brandon barely alive, and his two friends deceased,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release. “Brandon was able to say a few things to his dad, which we are not releasing at this time.”
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Saturday they believe Tillman traveled to the lake first and arrived by himself. When Rollins and Springfield arrived soon after, Tillman was being beaten by unknown attackers. When the two intervened to help their friend, they were shot.
“This is a horrific scene,” Judd said at a press conference. “I’ve been to a lot of murder scenes in my life and this ranks among the worst I’ve been to.”
Rollins’ father had left his home without his cellphone, so he returned to a nearby gas station and called 911, the sheriff’s office said. When authorities arrived at the scene, all three men were dead.
“We are seeking leads; we need help so we can solve this crime sooner rather than later because there are one or more, we suspected more, murderers that killed three people in a quiet community,” said Judd.
Judd added that the suspect or suspects may have known the men, saying, “You don’t just stumble upon somebody out here. … It’s not like there’s a lot of people around here. As you can see, it’s cow pastures and lakes.”
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is offering $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest.
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