TEQUESTA, Fla. (AP) — A man who may have been on hallucinogenic drugs fatally stabbed a couple at their home and wounded a would-be rescuer before deputies found him biting the dead man’s face, authorities said Tuesday.
Martin County Sheriff William Snyder told reporters that a man in his 20s may have been on drugs when he attacked the couple at their Tequesta home late Monday and the neighbor who tried to stop him. Authorities were still trying to confirm the suspect’s identity.
Snyder said deputies found the man on top of the dead husband and it took several attempts and a dog to pull him off. The names of the victims haven’t been released. Snyder said the neighbor is hospitalized with “substantial trauma.”
Snyder said deputies also are searching for a 26-year-old woman associated with the suspect, saying she might also be a victim.
Snyder said the attacker had an unspecified relationship with the couple, who were in their late 40s or early 50s, and the attack was not random.
Snyder said the attacker might have been under the influence of Flakka, a synthetic street drug known for causing psychotic outbursts.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to find out if it was Flakka,” Snyder said, but that won’t be known until toxicology reports are in.
Tequesta is a small, affluent community on the Atlantic coast about 20 miles north of Palm Beach.
Flakka had a brief burst in popularity in late 2014 and 2015, primarily in South Florida, but its usage quickly waned after stories circulated about users’ deaths and mental breakdowns, and a crackdown was carried out in China, where it has been manufactured.