POLK COUNTY, FL./GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – In an emotional and detailed 30-minute news conference, Polk County, Florida Sheriff Grady Judd outlined the events that lead up to three murders in two states.
Sheriff Judd told the story in front of reporters, starting from the beginning on the night of October 1 when he said the first victim, Christopher Short, 33, was doing laundry in Greeneville.
The sheriff said that surveillance video from the Celebrity Coin Laundry shows that around 11 p.m. on October 1, the suspect, identified as Stanley Mossburg, 35, pulled a gun and forced Short into the bathroom.
The video also shows Short leaving the restroom with arms tied to his sides, with Mossburg behind him.
Short’s wife became concerned when he didn’t come home and called 911.
Police responded to the laundromat, didn’t see anything and left.
The next morning, customers found what would later be identified as Christopher Short’s body dead around the back of the building.
Sheriff Judd also said that Mossburg stabbed Short to death.
According to the sheriff, Mossburg took the victim’s car and drove to Spartanburg, South Carolina. Judd said “he’s well known by police” there.
Sheriff Judd said while in Spartanburg, Mossburg’s sister bought him a ticket to Orlando, proceeding to drive him to Atlanta so he can get on a bus to Orlando.
The next piece of evidence police in Spartanburg find is Mossburg on video.
Polk County, Florida Sheriff Grady Judd said authorities in Spartanburg South Carolina found Short’s vehicle in a scrapyard.
The suspect, Stanley Mossburg, stole an F250 dually truck from Seffner, Florida which is in Hillsborough County.
Mossburg reportedly pawned items at a Florida pawnshop.
Mossburg made his way to a Winter Haven, Florida home about 4 p.m. and was seen on Ring video at a home. Ring contacted the homeowner, who confronted Mossburg and chased him away.
Authorities in Polk County, Florida said Mossburg killed two more people, a female, and a male at a house next door.
There was a third victim at that home, who survived.
The surviving victim reported to police that at one point, Mossburg said one of the victims he killed fought back and that Mossburg said he made him (the male victim) suffer before he killed the victim.
The victim that survived also reported that Mossburg said that he had killed the female victim quickly because she cooperated.
Sheriff Judd also said Mossburg reportedly poured bleach on the victims and put together a solution to clean up. It was also reported that Mossburg kept the temperature cool inside the home so that the victims he killed wouldn’t start to smell.
About noon on October 14, Mossburg moved the surviving victim into the living room and sat him on the couch. According to the sheriff, he loaded up the female victim’s vehicle with stolen items and left. Mossburg reportedly told the victim who survived that he would be back to remove the bodies and to not call police.
About 6 p.m., the victim that lived breaks and runs to a neighbor’s house. From there, he dialed 911.
Authorities with the Polk County Sherrif’s Office responded. A captain driving around the neighborhood found the victim’s car less than two blocks away. The engine was still hot.
According to Sheriff Judd, at that time they realized Mossburg had returned to the scene and was nearby.
Deputies also found the black F250 dually truck, now spray painted white, behind gates at a home.
Neighbors in the area told deputies that Mossburg ran through the back door. Deputies searching the home would find a locked door. According to the sheriff, when the deputies attempted to break it down, shots were fired at them.
October 15 (early morning)
While Mossburg had himself barricaded inside this door Sheriff Judd said somewhere around 7 or 8 rounds were shot at his deputies.
Mossburg was eventually cornered under a pool table where he grabbed a K9 with both hands.
Mossburg was secured by a SWAT team and taken into custody early on the morning on the 15th.
October 15 (11 a.m.)
Sheriff Judd ended his lengthy news conference on Tuesday morning by saying in part, “This guy needs the death penalty if there’s ever a person who needs it…Wonderful, decent people are now victims of this evil, absolutely evil person. What some people would call low-level, non-violent offender.”
Sheriff Judd also said they are investigating claims that Mossburg made to the surviving victim. Mossburg claimed to have killed 8 people. At the time of the news conference, Sheriff Judd said they were attempting to interview Mossburg but wasn’t sure if he was talking.
You can watch the entire news conference on our WJHL Facebook page below: