Cops are zeroing in on several suspects accused of murdering three fishermen on Friday – and claim they are less than 7 days away from cracking the case, Your Content can exclusively report.
What’s more, friends reveal a mystery girl stood Damion up that night after making plans to fish together.
Authorities have drafted in resources from around the country to help find the cold-blooded murderer behind the heinous executions of Brandon Rollins, 27, Damion Tillman, 23, and Kevin Springfield, 30.
“We have a concrete timeline and sufficient material to believe lead investigators are closing in on more than one individual. A local resident who had ongoing beef with one of the victims has been questioned by detectives,” an individual briefed on the investigation told Your Content under the condition of anonymity.
Investigators have obtained witness statements from various friends in the secluded town and beyond, but sources said the lead investigators are particularly interested in what they discovered while talking to a young friend of Damion Tillman.
“There are credible individuals who helped authorities determine several points of interest in the investigation,” the source told Your Content.
“Tillman attempted to file criminal charges against the individual for the assault but there was not sufficient evidence at the time.”
The source cannot comment on if JJ Kilpatrick is a suspect in the triple homicide. but does confirm authorities took a DNA swab from Kilpatrick overnight.
Cody Mullins, 19, who was best friends with 23-year-old Damion Rollins broke his silence in an exclusive tell-all Monday evening with Your Content.
“JJ used to hang out with us. But he was on drugs,” Mullins exclusively revealed to Your Content, adding Damion is rumored to have slept with Kilpatrick’s girlfriend.
Cody says the local — joined by his sidekicks — jumped Tillman and had a pending criminal investigation as a result. He was arrested but quickly released due to lack of evidence.
“Damion was pressing charges on him. The police arrested him and let him go because there wasn’t enough evidence.”
Police were prompted to reopen the investigation when a video emerged showcasing Kilpatrick’s violent altercation, Cody claims.
“But then a video popped up – so charges were or are pending for that incident.
“He just wanted to jump somebody for no reason and Damion was pressing charges on him. He has a different mentality than most people.”
Cody and a second friend provided additional information about that Friday night, somewhat changing the original storyline authorities provided over the weekend.
The two say Damion arrived first to meet a mystery girl he had been talking to.
“There was a girl that was supposed to meet him there. I don’t know her – but there was a girl supposed to meet him out here.”
According to Cassidy Thai — another friend of Damion — he was scheduled to pick her up as well but she was unable to make it.
“I canceled [because] my daughter wasn’t tired. I don’t drive, he was my ride,” Cassidy wrote on social media Monday night.
Cody says individuals were captured on surveillance following Damion from a nearby store.
“The girl never showed up and next thing you know people are following Damion from Dollar General and all of a sudden he’s dead before his friends get here.”
The other two victims, Brandon and Kevin, did not have plans to meet Damion, according to the friends.
“His friends weren’t even supposed to meet him here they just showed up because they wanted to go fishing.”
The two showed up to fish when they witnessed the men brutally beating Damion.
“Kevin went to get out and was shot through the head. It splattered all the way to the passenger side, and then he shot Brandon and it went through his arm and neck, but he was still alive. He called his dad,” the insider told Your Content.
According to a third well-placed source close to the investigation, the group of men arrived in a vehicle parked nearby the lake.
The source said ‘they just took off running in their vehicle’ after brutally murdering the three men.
“They don’t have enough evidence because the murder weapon hasn’t been recovered yet.”
Speaking on the subject for the first time – Cody provided in-depth details about the violent brawl that erupted prior to the night Damion was murdered.
Damion and Cody were at a nearby hot spot just four miles from where the three men were murdered about two months ago. The 19-year-old claims the men ‘knew Damion wouldn’t defend himself.’
According to Cody, his pickup truck was stuck in a ditch and Damion asked him to go ‘grab drinks’ as the two worked on getting the truck out of the ditch. He journeyed to the closest store on foot and received a call for help after arriving.
“By the time I get to the store – four miles from where we were at – it was dark. Damion called me and said he’s about to get jumped.”
Cody darted back to the scene on foot to find Damion beaten on the ground.
“I run back, and he was on the ground. I was told it was because Damion slept with one of his girlfriends. Kilpatrick and his friends jumped him. They knew Damion wouldn’t defense himself. He’s a fast runner but he thinks like a teenager – he wouldn’t hurt anybody. He doesn’t like fighting.”
“For everyone saying I had something to do with this can stay the f*ck out of my face from this day forward,” Kilpatrick wrote on Facebook Monday afternoon.
“I spoke with the lead detective on the case last night. He took saliva swabs from my mouth for DNA purposes.
Sharing a text screenshot, Kilpatrick notes: “The lead detective said the tip hotline has gotten hundreds of calls saying that I did it because him & I fought at the mudhole.”
“Authorities are taking full advantage of all resources available to them. There are witnesses. Officials on the local, state and federal levels spoke to approximately 75 individuals that shared information,” the source continued. “Credible leads have helped agents zero in on these key locations.”
The source added state officials have “several credible leads” which they have placed under surveillance.
As Your Content readers know, at about 10 p.m. on July 17, a father living in a secluded Florida town received a call for help from his son who was fishing at a nearby lake with two friends.
Cyril Rollins, 56, immediately sprung out of bed and rushed to Lake Streety, which police say is about ten minutes from his home and off U.S. 98.
Rollins was still alive when the attackers left and called his father for help.
“This is a horrific scene,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, who has worked at the department since 1972, said at a news conference Saturday near Lake Streety where the bodies were found.
“I’ve been to a lot of murder scenes in my life, and this ranks among the worst.”
“One of our victims — Brandon Rollins — was able to call his father and say ‘help.’”
But the father’s nightmare worsened. When he arrived at the gruesome scene, he realized that he forgot his cellphone at home, according to Sheriff Judd.
“He was at this horrific scene in the middle of nowhere with no communications.
“It’s about as far out in the middle of the woods as you can get. It’s a peaceful area. There’s a beautiful lake that three very close friends were coming fishing on Friday night — and all 3 of them are dead.
“They’re murdered. Worse than that, they’re massacred.”
Authorities are scouring the secluded Florida community of Frostproof for clues after the three fishermen were dead on secluded road in Frostproof, Florida.
“It’s evident that a fight ensued when the youngest victim, Damion, arrived at the isolated lake.” an individual close to the investigation told Your Content under the condition of anonymity.
“For the people that fired those shots, turn yourself in now. Every second you are out there; you are only making this worse for yourself.
“The evidence located at the scene and information obtained will enable us to act swiftly and certainly towards bringing justice for these three families.”
What Police Believe Happened That Deadly Night
According to local authorities, the three were to show up in two separate vehicles.
“Tillman, in his red pickup truck, apparently arrived here first,” said the sheriff.
“He was murdered. It appears that while the suspects were in the process of killing Damion when Brandon and Kevin showed up in a white pickup truck. They were shot up. They were ultimately murdered.”
All three victims are from Frostproof.
Police say at about 10:06 p.m. on Friday, July 17, Brandon Rollins called his dad and said ‘help.’
His dad knew Brandon had gone fishing with his two friends, Keven and Damion.
Brandon’s dad drove to Lake Streety Road. When he arrived he found his son Brandon barely alive, and his two friends deceased.
Brandon was able to say a few things to his dad, which we are not releasing at this time.
Brandon’s dad left his home so fast, he forgot his cell phone. He drove to the nearest gas station to call 911.
When first responders arrived, all three men were deceased.
They appear to have been beaten and shot.
According to the families, the three men have been best friends for years and were fishing Friday night.
Police are now seeking the public’s assistance in gathering information to capture the perpetrators behind the heinous ‘massacre.’
If anyone has information about this they are urged to contact PCSO at 863-298-6200. Heartland Crime Stoppers is offering a $30,000 cash reward for information that leads to the arrests of the suspects responsible.
Additional Reporting By: Eric Norton, Hong Xie & Nik Hatziefstathiou for Your Content.
Correction Notice: Your Content was made aware that a woman was taking care of her daughter and did not stand Damion up. The woman says that she made multiple attempts to reach the Polk County Sheriff’s Office but all of them were unsuccessful. This does not appear to be the same mystery girl from the lake. She added Damion called her at 9:07 p.m. that night but she was unable to answer the phone. The woman confirms that she was not legally married and was separated from Kilpatrick. The two share a child. This post was updated at 3:17 a.m. on July 21, 2020.
Stay with Your Content for the latest updates. Have a story or news tip? Contact our 24/7 newsroom at 833.336.8013.