Stephen Thomas Rodda, 37, was arrested Monday in connection to the killing of Stephen Lee Rodda, 16, inside the Polk County mobile home where the victim’s grandfather lived.
Police have not released a motive in the killing, but Sheriff Grady Judd described the father as ‘nasty, nasty evil person.’
The 16-year-old’s grandfather left the home Monday morning to go visit his wife in rehab and saw Stephen Thomas outside when he returned home around 11am.
The dad told the teen’s grandfather, ‘I wouldn’t go in there if I was you. I killed someone. You may need to call the police.’
Stephen Thomas Rodda, 37, has been charged in connection killing his 16-year-old son using a mechanical saw at a home in Polk County, Florida
Stephen Lee Rodda, 16, was found dead at his grandparents’ kitchen. He had a dream of becoming a technician and was set to start working at Burger King
Stephen Lee was living with his grandfather to help him as his wife was in rehab.
The teen had a dream of becoming an electrician and was to set to work at Burger King to earn money to buy a car, Judd said Monday afternoon.
‘Stephan Rodda was a great kid,’ Judd said. ‘Not just a good kid, but a great kid. It breaks our heart, there aren’t adequate words to explain how horrific this event is.’
The grandfather told investigators it was ‘not uncommon for the suspect to say bizarre things.’ The suspect has a history of using methamphetamine and has had psychotic episodes previously, Sheriff Judd said.
The suspect showed up at the grandparents’ house on Old Bartow Road in Lake Wales about a month ago after traveling around the country, Judd said. He’d been in Washington, D.C., and Ohio.
He also had an outstanding warrant in South Carolina, the sheriff said but did not reveal the nature of the charges.
‘We don’t know why he did what he did today, other than he is a nasty, nasty, evil person,’ the sheriff said.
‘We don’t know why he did what he did today, other than he is a nasty, nasty, evil person,’ Judd said Monday afternoon
The grandfather told investigators it was ‘not uncommon for the suspect to say bizarre things’.
The suspect showed up at the mobile house on Old Bartow Road in Lake Wales about a month ago after traveling around the country, the sheriff said
‘The world lost a great young man today,’ Judd said
When the grandfather went into the home, he found Stephen Lee dead in the dining room/kitchen area. Further details of the crime were not released.
The specific charges Stephen Thomas faces have not been released.
Deputies caught the suspect on Highway 60, about a mile from the homicide scene while he was trying to flee.
‘It breaks our heart there aren’t adequate words to explain how horrific this event is,’ Judd said.
The sheriff added he spoke to family members who described Stephen Lee – who was in the 11th grade at Frostproof High School – as a stellar young man.
‘The world lost a great young man today,’ Judd said. ‘And we have an evil, evil man in custody, and we’re going to do our best to see that he spends the rest of his life in prison.’