Orange County

Eustis Man Killed in Orange County Head-On Collision

APOPKA, Florida—A Eustis man was killed Saturday night after the 2000 Ford Focus he was driving was struck head-on by a 2017 Dodge Ram 1500, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

A 38-year-old Apopka man was driving the Ram eastbound on South Binion Road, also known as County Road 437, near Sheaf Road when he failed to maintain his lane entered the westbound lane and struck the Focus being driven by a 65-year-old Eustis man, shortly before 9 p.m. Saturday, FHP Lt. Tara Crescenzi said.

The impact caused the Ram to overturn on its right side and the driver was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. The Eustis man was transported to AdventHealth Apopka, where he was pronounced dead.

The crash remains under investigation.

Motorcycle Fatality Closes Most of Orange Blossom Trail Near Mount Dora Friday Morning

ORANGE COUNTY, Florida— A fatal crash has closed the southbound lanes and the inside northbound lane of Orange Blossom Trail at Willow Street, about 5 miles from the Lake County line Friday morning, according to Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Tara Crescenzi.

The intersection is in Orange County but has a Mount Dora address.

The crash involves a 2007 Kia Sedona being driven by a 37-year-old Mount Dora man and a 2007 Harley Davidson being ridden by a 28-year-old Sumterville man. The crash occurred around 6:25 a.m., killing the motorcycle rider and the Mount Dora man was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Crescenzi said.

The crash is still in the preliminary stages of the investigation and FHP has not released how the crash occurred.  

This is a developing story.

Update.

Beer Can Helps Nab Eustis Man For ’96 Cold Case Murder

EUSTIS, Florida—A discarded beer can helped solve a quarter-century old brutal murder earlier this week, and resulted in the arrest of a Eustis man, according to an Orange County probable cause affidavit.

Kenneth Robert Stough, 54, of Eustis was arrested Tuesday for first degree murder and armed robbery by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

In 1996, Terrence Paquette, 31, was found stabbed multiple times in the bathroom of Lil’ Champ, 4510 Clarcona Ocoee Road, Orlando. The location is now a Kwik Stop, according to Google Maps. Paquette was found by OCSO deputies after receiving a call that the store was dark, and the doors were locked. Another employee stopped by the store when he saw deputies and let them inside with his key.

Upon searching the store, Paquette was found dead and his autopsy revealed he died from multiple penetrating wounds to his heart, lungs, head, chest and abdomen. He suffered a total of 73 injuries, the affidavit states.

Photo credit: Orange County Sheriff’s Office

Crime scene investigators located blood in several parts of the store other than the bathroom, and the pattern indicated the suspect injured himself during the attack and walked around the store. Paquette’s keys were not located in the store and still have never been found; money was also missing from the safe. Several blood samples were sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for analysis and it was determined that blood from a beverage freezer handle, a freezer flap, lottery machine, the key cylinder from the exterior door and a push bar from a door all came from the same individual and it was not Paquette.

On Sept. 29. 1997, the case was closed “pending further investigative leads.”

In 2003, the case was reopened, and no suspects were identified. In 2019, an OCSO detective began reviewing the case. In March of this year, FDLE contracted with an outside lab to obtain a sample for forensic genetic genealogy and the data was uploaded to genealogy databases. It was determined the sample had distant relatives to both Kenneth Stough’s parents. Stough’s parents had three sons.

The OCSO detective determined Stough lived just two blocks from Paquette at the time of the murder and were only three years apart in age. Stough was 28 at the time of the murder.

On Aug. 25, Lake County Circuit Judge Heidi Davis signed a GPS order for Stough’s 2007 black Chevrolet Equinox. On Sept. 14, OCSO began following Stough and followed him to a convenience store in Eustis. After making two trips into the store, Stough backed the Equinox next to a public dumpster and placed a grey plastic bag in the dumpster that appeared to be filled with beer cans.

The detective secured the dumpster and removed the grey plastic bag that had seven 16-ounce Budweiser beer cans. The cans were submitted to FDLE and a sample was obtained from one of the cans. The sample matched the DNA from the beverage freezer handle from the 1996 murder.

 A warrant was issued for Stough’s arrest Monday and he was picked up Tuesday. Stough, 54, is being held in the Orange County Jail on no bond. 

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