Friends left a bottle and a can of Mountain Dew on the memorial to Tillman, 23. His T-shirt is draped over the cross, a hat bearing the Confederate flag sits atop it, and a friend left a McDonald’s bacon double cheeseburger at its base.
Law enforcement offers a $30,000 reward to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest of those involved in Friday’s murders. Detectives pursued leads Tuesday, said Polk County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Brian Bruce.
Neither robbery, drugs nor domestic issues appear to be the motive, according to the sheriff’s office. The three friends had arranged to meet Friday night at a remote boat ramp along Lake Street for some night fishing, which was a regular pastime for the three, Meyer said.
“This is a quiet town, and we aren’t used to something like this,” said Levi Shirley, who’s lived in Frost proof all of his 37 years. Katie Clarke, who’s lived in the Frost proof area since 1975, said her son often goes fishing at night, like Rollins, Springfield and Tillman were doing.
Candy Bhutto, who works at PJ Recreation downtown, said she’s worried. “But it’s scary that (Polk County Sheriff) Grady Judd says it’s one of the worst murders he’s ever seen.
“Everybody in town is talking about it and giving their opinion” said Hodge, who owns an auto service center in downtown. Then there’s another story of the time when a giant sailfish jumped over Tyler, a man on a sit-on style kayak who was bent on proving you didn’t need a big boat to play in the sea with the big fish.
Bill “Kayak Willie” Tyler was a legendary sport fisherman in South Florida. The long paddle back to his home, west of the Intracoastal in Pompano Beach is what Tyler lived for.
“Wow, he’d catch anything on that kayak,” said angler Pete Bret sch. A few years later, Tyler earned a standing ovation when, in his burnt orange 16-foot kayak, he paddled over the weigh station with a 45 pound sail fish flanked on the side of his kayak.
“In a big boat you find the fish and go after them,” Tyler was quoted as saying in the South Florida Sun Sentinel back in the day. “ Tyler was the first recorded person to catch a sailfish from a kayak, said the International Game Fishing Association.
That kayak as well as photos and stories from the paper still hang at the Davie operation even though the Hall of Fame Museum has moved out of state. Stories from the 1980s quoted anglers in pure awe of Tyler’s prowess: “It was like Old Man and the Sea,” rodeo official Vince Carr said in the mid 1980s when he and scads of others piled into boats to watch Tyler fight big fish from his kayak.
“I mean he was just an animal out there,” said Bret sch, who after admiring Tyler from a distance out there on the water grew to become his friend. In 1990, a friend of Thomas’ said she wanted to set her up with a man known around the fishing community as Kayak Willie.
Thomas said she quickly learned to love the name Kayak Willie and all that Tyler stood for in his beloved adopted home in Florida. Six years ago, Tyler had open-heart surgery.
Just before his death, Tyler suffered a heart attack at his home he shared with Thomas. “He was really a unique person,” Thomas said of her partner for the past 30 years.
Thomas said there were some boys about Tyler’s age when he was transplanted to Florida who were fishing the shoreline. While details are still being worked out, Thomas said Kayak Willie will be buried at sea.
The sheriff’s office identified the three victims as Damion Tillman, 23, Keven Springfield, 30, and Brandon Rollins, 27. “But here’s what the murderers didn’t count on: that one of our victims, Brandon Rollins, was able to call his father, and say ‘help.
Rollins’ father was sleeping at home about 10 minutes away and drove to the scene as soon as he got the call, Judd said. But after leaving his cell phone at home, he drove back to a local convenient store to ask for help.
Rollins’ father arrived and found his son, who was still alive and able to briefly talk to him before succumbing to his injuries, Judd said. Court documents reveal that a Florida fishing boat captain made a call for medical assistance after an incident between a father and son onboard.
The altercation, which reportedly involved an alternator and a hammer, left the father beaten to death in his bunk and the son arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Because the incident occurred almost 70 miles of Marco Island, the case falls under federal jurisdiction and would be handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Casey Hickok has a long history of arrests and charges in Florida's Collier County for kidnapping, assault and possession of controlled substances; and has served two prison terms. She has been covering the fishing industry for 14 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute's Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.
The accused killer of three men who were on a weekend fishing trip in July could face the death penalty if convicted. Tony T.J. Wiggins, 26, arrested July 21, is believed to be responsible for the deaths of Damion Tillman, 23, Keven Springfield, 30, and Brandon Rollins, 27, who were found dead near their trucks in a forested area of Frost proof near U.S. Highway 27.
The filing came one day after an online petition on Change.org asking prosecutors to seek the death penalty reached its goal of 1,000 signatures. Surveillance cameras confirm the Wiggins brothers and Tillman standing in line together about 10 minutes before the shooting took place, authorities say.
Killer whale deaths from Alaska to British Columbia, south to California and west to Hawaii linked to human activities were found in every age class from calves to adults, said the study published Wednesday in the open access journal Los One. The findings indicate that understanding and being aware of each threat is vital for the management and conservation of orca populations, said Stephen Poverty, a B.C.
Some direct causes of orca deaths were attributed to blunt force trauma from collisions with ships or cuts from the propellers of vessels, while indirect causes were related to ingested fishhooks, various human-caused pollutants and malnutrition, Poverty said in an interview. In another crops conducted on an older orca, a triple-barbed fishing hook was found in the animal's colon, but it did not appear to impact its health, Poverty said.
Poverty said the study's results should support federal government efforts to reduce and slow down shipping traffic and noise pollution to protect threatened orca populations, including the West Coast's southern residents that now number 73 members. “You think of these animals as being very agile and being able to avoid impact with vessels, but that doesn't appear to necessarily be the case,” Poverty said.
The findings indicate that understanding and being aware of each threat is vital for the management and conservation of orca populations, said Stephen Poverty, a B.C. Some direct causes of orca deaths were attributed to blunt force trauma from collisions with ships or cuts from the propellers of vessels, while indirect causes were related to ingested fishhooks, various human-caused pollutants and malnutrition, Poverty said in an interview.
In another crops conducted on an older orca, a triple-barbed fishing hook was found in the animal’s colon, but it did not appear to impact its health, Poverty said. The study involved necrosis on the remains of 53 killer whales found from the North Pacific to Hawaii from 2004 to 2013.
It said necrosis showed evidence of 15 infectious agents and 28 pathogens with the potential to affect orca health, but “non-infectious health concerns include impacts from accumulated persistent pollutants, human interactions including vessel collisions, interaction with fishing gear, the effects of noise and consequences of reduced prey availability.” Poverty said the study’s results should support federal government efforts to reduce and slow down shipping traffic and noise pollution to protect threatened orca populations, including the West Coast’s southern residents that now number 73 members.
The fall out from this has focused on wading belts, as of the five people in the water in these stories only the person that survived was wearing one. A wading belt is simply worn around the waste to keep the waders from filling with water and becoming sea anchors in the current.
Any paddling guide would not let their clients wade into a river without one, so it stands in contrast that they are absent from the conversation here. The head injury in the Whistler drowning has spawned comments of 'what he needed was a helmet, not a life jacket'.
After twenty years of guiding on rivers, I can count on less than one hand the number of times a swimmer has hit their head while wearing a PFD. The defensive/feet downstream swimming posture is still (wrongly) taught to wade fly fishers.
Aggressive front crawl or breast stroke are the only options that work, and is recommended both with and without flotation. This is likely wrong, however fly-fishing tradition and an assumption that theirs is a safe activity has molded guide mentality.
The tradition of fly-fishing can be preserved while guides look to other activities to improve their craft. Rivers are beautiful places with well understood inherent risks, so today's professional guide needs to be more than an escort with the right flies.