A Florida teenager accused of killing his parents with a hammer and partying afterward with more than 40 friends has been charged with first-degree murder. He is being held without bail.
Police say 17-year-old Tyler Hadley used a 22-inch framing hammer to kill his parents, Mary Jo Hadley and Blake Maurice Hadley, then covered up their bodies and drank beer with his friends.
Relatives and friends are grief-stricken, blindsided by the news.
Maurice Hadley, Blake Hadley’s father, said ever since he learned on Sunday that his youngest son had been killed he felt as though he were in a trance.
“We don’t understand this at all — we never expected anything like this,” he said. “They were a great couple.”
Last week Tyler and his father had taken a trip to north Georgia with Maurice and his wife, Betty, to visit Maurice’s sister.
“They had a good time,” said Maurice Hadley, 82, who lives in Stuart, Fla. “They went for walks together, white water rafting, went out on a boat …”
“Everything was great. This is really confusing.”
Did Tyler Hadley Plan to Murder His Parents?
Tyler had invited his friends to come over Saturday, police said, posting a message on Facebook around 1:30 in the afternoon.
Later that night, around 10 p.m., between 40 to 60 friends arrived at the house. Neighbors complained about noise from the party, so police sent a patrol car to the neighborhood around 2:30 a.m. but didn’t notice anything unusual.
Then, hours later, they received an anonymous tip that Tyler had killed his parents.
When police showed up at the Hadley home around 4:20 a.m. they found “beer cups lying around the house” and Tyler appeared “nervous and panicky,” according to Port Saint Lucie Police Capt. Don Kryak.
At that point, Kryak said, the party had already broken up. Police found Mary Jo Hadley, 47, and Blake Hadley, 54, in the master bedroom covered in household items, including “books, files and towels.”
Police said it looked like a deliberate attempt to hide the bodies.
Port Saint Lucie police spokesman Tom Nichols said police found the hammer between the two bodies, and that it had been used on the couple’s heads and torsos.
Although the police were still awaiting autopsy results, they “can say for certain” both parents were killed before the party began.
Police say they believe Tyler acted alone, and that he’d likely be tried as an adult.