A Florida father has been taken into custody for the alleged murder of his own teenage son. Stephan Thomas Rodda, 37, is facing serious charges after being accused of using a heavy-duty saw, known as an angle grinder, to take the life of his 16-year-old son, Stephen Lee Rodda.
Florida father charged in connection with brutal murder of his teenage son: 'Evil, evil man' https://t.co/GpJqRImdma
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The incident unfolded inside a mobile home located in Polk County, sending shockwaves through the region.
The tragedy came to light when Rodda attempted to flee the scene after the alleged act of violence. Law enforcement officers, however, apprehended him in the 2500 block of Old Bartow Road in Lake Wales, putting an end to his attempted escape.
The victim, Stephen, was a high school junior attending Frostproof High School at the time of his untimely death.
During a press conference, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd expressed the gravity of the situation, condemning Rodda’s actions in strong terms.
“It breaks our heart, there aren’t adequate words to explain how horrific this event is… To have this worthless individual murder his son is inexplicable,” Judd said.
The circumstances leading up to the tragedy reveal a complex picture. Stephen had been staying with his grandfather, 67-year-old Thomas Rodda, to provide assistance while his grandmother was in rehab.
On that day, Thomas left the mobile home to visit his wife, returning later in the morning. It was then that he encountered Stephan and received a chilling confession.
According to the grandfather, Rodda uttered the words, “I wouldn’t go in there if I was you. I killed someone. You may need to call the police.”
This shocking admission was not entirely unexpected, as Thomas noted that Rodda had a history of making “bizarre” statements. Upon entering the mobile home, Thomas made the grim discovery of his grandson’s lifeless body in the dining room area.
Preliminary investigations indicate that Rodda used an angle grinder, a powerful tool used for cutting and grinding, as the instrument to carry out the alleged murder.
The motive behind the troubling incident remains under investigation, leaving many unanswered questions. However, as details emerge, it has come to light that Rodda had an extensive criminal history, having lived in multiple states, including Ohio, South Carolina, Texas and Washington, D.C.
The sheriff mentioned an outstanding warrant for Rodda in South Carolina, but due to the nature of the charge, extradition was not pursued. He also reportedly had a history of substance abuse, including methamphetamine use, dating back to his high school years.