FROSTPROOF — A fishing trip in the small town of Frostproof turned into a horrific crime scene this weekend, and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office is now investigating what’s been called the massacre of three young men.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd called it a horrific murder scene and appealed to the public to help his detectives quickly solve this case.
“These folks appear to be beaten and shot,” Judd said at a press conference at the murder scene on Saturday. “Did you hear me? Beaten and shot. We are seeking leads. We need help so we can solve this crime sooner rather than later.”
The murders made the national news on Sunday evening, putting a spotlight on a quiet city in southern Polk County with a little more than 3,000 residents, one that Judd called “a little country community.”
What Does The Sheriff’s Office Know So Far?
The triple murder happened in an unincorporated area of Frostproof on Lake Streety Road. The father of one of the victims reported that the three young men had gone catfishing on Friday evening and were murdered at the scene. The sheriff’s office is now offering a $5,000 reward to anyone with information on this homicide case. They’re urged to contact Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477 or go online at Heartland Crimestoppers.
Polk County Sheriff’s Office Homicide detectives identified the victims as Damion Tillman, 23; Keven Springfield, 30; and Brandon Rollins, 27, all residents of Frostproof.
Around 10 p.m. on Friday, Brandon Rollins called his father, who was asleep at the time, and said “Help.” Brandon’s father drove to Lake Streety Road, and according to the sheriff, found his son barely alive and Brandon’s two friends dead. The sheriff noted that Brandon was able to speak to his father, and information about what was said isn’t being released at this time.
Brandon’s father had left his home so quickly that he forgot his cell phone, so he rushed to the nearest gas station to call 911. When first responders got to the scene, all three men were dead, and had been beaten and shot.
“I’ve been to a lot of murder scenes in my life and this ranks among the worst of them,” Judd said.
What Else Is Known About This Massacre?
The three men had gone to the lake for an evening of night fishing, Judd noted at the press conference.
“It’s about as far out in the middle of the woods as you can get,” Judd said. “It’s a peaceful area.”
But something happened, and “All three of them area dead. Murdered,” Judd said. “Worse than that, they were massacred. And we need the community’s help.”
Damion arrived at the lake first, and may have been murdered almost immediately. Judd said they believe it was probably done by more than one killer.
“We certainly believe there are more than one,” he said.
Tillman and Rollins arrived next and were likely quickly attacked.
“Here’s what the murderers didn’t count on,” Judd said. “One of our victims, Brandon Rollins, was able to call his father and say, ‘Help.’”
His father quickly got dressed and drove to the lake. “When he arrived, he saw this horrific scene,” Judd said. “What the murders also didn’t count on is Brandon had an opportunity to talk to his dad before he died.”
Anyone with information on this case can contact PCSO at 863-298-6200. Heartland Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 cash reward for information that leads to the arrests of the suspects involved in these murders.
Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright, and author of the book When I Woke Up, You Were All Dead. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.