Florida Father Fatally Murders 16-Year-Old Son Using Power Tool: Sheriff Reports

Police in Polk County, Florida are conducting an investigation after a tragic incident in which a man allegedly killed his 16-year-old son. The incident occurred on Monday morning in Lake Wales, and the suspect has been identified as Stephen Lee Rodda.

According to authorities, the teenager lived with his grandfather, who left the house at around 8 a.m. When the grandfather returned home approximately three hours later, he was met outside by his son, Stephen Thomas Rodda. Shockingly, Stephen Thomas informed his father, “I wouldn’t go in there if I were you. I killed someone. You may need to call the police.”

Disturbed by this alarming revelation, the father entered the house and discovered his grandson’s lifeless body in the kitchen/dining room area. Stephen Thomas Rodda immediately fled the scene, but was apprehended by deputies about a mile away and taken into custody. He now faces charges of first-degree murder.

Upon his arrest, Rodda made a statement to law enforcement officers, requesting that his rights be read to him. Sheriff Grady Judd confirmed this fact, stating, “When we took him into custody, he told our deputy, ‘You probably need to read me my rights.’ And that’s exactly what we did.”

Tragically, Stephen Thomas Rodda, who was a student at Frostproof High School, had a promising future ahead of him. He had recently secured a job at Burger King to save up for a car and was also working towards becoming an electrician, which he aspired to be his dream job.

Authorities believe that Rodda used an angle grinder, a handheld power tool, to carry out the heinous act against his own son. Sheriff Grady Judd expressed his bewilderment at the motive behind this gruesome act and labeled the suspect as a “nasty, nasty evil person.”

Moreover, it has been revealed that Rodda has an outstanding warrant in South Carolina and a criminal history that extends across the United States. In addition, he has a documented history of methamphetamine use dating back to his high school days, as well as a record of experiencing psychotic episodes.

This tragic incident marks the second case in less than a week in which a parent has taken the life of their own child in Polk County. Just days prior, a woman murdered her two children, aged 10 and 19, on August 27.

Sheriff Grady Judd expressed his condolences for the loss of a “great young man” and emphasized the importance of ensuring that the suspect is held accountable, stating, “We’ve got an evil, evil man in custody, and we’re going to do our best to see that he spends the rest of his life in prison.”

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate this devastating crime and is determined to bring justice to the victim and his grieving family.

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