A man from Belize has been charged with murdering his pregnant cousin and two others in an attack near Fort Myers, Florida, that authorities have called “extremely violent,” and “almost unimaginable.”
Brian Omar Hyde, 19, entered the U.S. illegally about seven months ago, officials say. He now faces three counts of second-degree murder and another count of killing an unborn child by injury to its mother.
The victims, Dorla Pitts, 37, her pregnant 17-year-old daughter, Starlette Pitts, and the girl’s boyfriend, 19-year-old Michael Kelly Jr., were hit several times with some kind of sharp object, suffering from “repeated, sharp force trauma,” police said, refusing to elaborate, reports NBC News. The 18-month-old child of Starlette and Kelly was found alive in the house.
Deputies were called around noon on Aug. 11. Dorla Pitts was on the phone with her husband when he heard her scream “Brian! What happened here!” before the call went dead, the husband Dorrien Pitts told detectives. Dorrien then called a family friend who found the bodies at the home.
Investigators believe Dorla walked in during the attack.
Lt. Matt Sands said it was an “extremely violent scene, even for us. All homicide scenes are normally violent, but this scene was what we considered unimaginable.” He said that evidence exists that the victims all attempted to defend themselves.
Hyde, Dorla’s nephew, and Starlette’s cousin, fled to the U.S. when he was wanted in connection with a robbery in Belize. He had since stayed with the Pitts.
The mother of the murdered boyfriend, Sherri Flemming, said she has felt something was off about Hyde since she met him. She said she accepted him because he was Starlette’s cousin but always felt uncomfortable around him.
Belize media outlets say that Hyde was arrested in November for assaulting a police officer. He was also a suspect in a double murder case. Belize media said the family is well known as criminals. Hyde’s uncle is a suspect in a case of two Belize nationals that were found decapitated and dismembered, reported NBC2.
Hyde was arrested in a vehicle registered to the address of the crime scene. He was caught driving on the wrong side of the road and arrested for driving with no license before police linked him to the triple homicide. The sheriff’s office said he had “visible blood” on his clothes and body, and a bloody palm print at the scene was a match.
Hyde remains in jail and is set to face trial.