POLK COUNTY, Fla. – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a brutal murder involving a father and his son in Lake Wales.
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, 16-year-old Stephen Rodda was found murdered in his grandfathers home at the hands of his father.
Sheriff Grady Judd said Stephen Thomas Rodda, a methamphetamine user, murdered his son with an angle grinder.
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Judd said the 16-year-old victims grandfather left about 8:00 am Monday to go visit with his wife in rehab. When the man returned home about 11:00 am, he was met outside by the suspect, his son Stephen Thomas Rodda and his quote was, ‘I wouldn’t go in there if I were you. I killed someone. You may need to call the police.”
Judd said the suspect then fled the scene but deputies caught up with him about a mile away from the crime scene. He was taken into custody without incident.
The teen victim was an 11th grade student at Frostproof High School, according to Judd, studying to be an Electrician.
“It breaks our hearts,” said Judd. “There aren’t adequate words to explain how horrific this event.”
“Well, you might say had a mental health issue. Well, of course he did. People don’t murder people unless they’re nutso,” said Judd. “So anybody who murders somebody has a hitch in their giddy up. That doesn’t mean they’re criminally insane. It just means they’re evil.”
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No motive for this brutal killing was released by authorities.
This is the second incident in a week in Polk County where a parent has killed their own child in Polk County. Last Sunday, August 27th, a Brandy Hutchins killed her two children.
The incident occurred in the Waverly area of Lake Wales.
A court ordered the woman to turn the 10-year-old child over to the father on Friday. But Judd said Friday came and went with no word from the mother.
According to Judd, deputies arrived at a residence at about 12:30 pm Sunday after tips came in from social media, that the woman was in a Lake Wales trailer with the children.
Judd said the woman had no history of violence and no history of Baker Acts.
“When we arrive at the residence at 12:30, the information we had was that she is inside this mobile home, with her 19-year old-daughter and her 10-year-old son,” said Judd. “Brandy Hutchins, the mother, from every indication in our investigation now, has murdered her 10-year old child and her 19-year-old child. Murdered them, and then subsequent to that, she shot herself.”
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