Updated: Morrissey Lived Next Door to Plantation Cop
UPDATE: As if this case needed to give another reminder that nobody is really safe, murder victim Joseph Morrissey lived next door to a Plantation police officer in the Secluded Garden neighborhood, which is within four blocks of the Plantation Police Department.
The officer was apparently off-duty at the time, and one source tells me he made a call to report the crime early Tuesday morning after Morrissey's wife escaped the house.
The video above shows Gator Tint, a business owned by the father of Randy Headley Tundidor, who is the "person of interest" in the Joseph Morrissey murder. That's Tundidor's father, Randy William Tundidor, narrating the video. The younger Tundidor worked in the garage and was reportedly sleeping there about the time of the homicide. Police reportedly searched the business last night. More on that later.
The Sun-Sentinel is reporting that unnamed sources said Joseph Morrissey sustained "severe and unusual" wounds, that torture is suspected, and that the sources "shot down rumors that the professor's ears and fingers had been severed."
Those "rumors," of course, first came from this blog, initially from an anonymous commenter and then from
my own reporting, which involved more specific information. It should be noted that nobody said anything about "ears," just one ear. Also it was told to me that Morrissey's fingers hadn't been severed but that they'd been broken on one of his hands.
It's not important to get too specific at this point, though. The bottom line is that it appears that Morrissey was tortured in some way. Was the assailant trying to pry information from him during the robbery? Was it personal? Were the injuries sustained during or after a struggle between the assailant and Morrissey? We don't know.
The "person of interest" in the case is coming into view. Randy Headley Tundidor is a 21-year-old kid with theft, dealing in stolen property, and trespass charges. His first known criminal charge came in 2006, when he was charged with possession of tobacco while under the age of 18. His lawyer has told the media that Tundidor is bipolar and has had drug problems in the past. Part of his probation for a 2007 theft case involved a treatment program.
We don't know what led police to Tundidor. His attorney told Channel 4 that his client denies being involved in the homicide and that there is no evidence tying Tundidor to the crime. The attorney also said Tundidor was sleeping at his father's business, Gator Tint, around the time of the murder.
To get a sense of Gator Tint, click on the business website here. There you can see a video of his 43-year-old father, Randy William Tundidor, talking about the business, which is located off State Road 7 on Peters Road in Plantation. The site includes a rotating image of a Plantation police car. Randy William Tundidor told Channel 4 that he loves his son "to death, and I'm going to support him to the end."
One detail that sticks in my mind is that police initially believed that Morrissey had been shot when in fact he had been stabbed. The belief, presumably, was based on the fact that neighbors apparently heard gunshots. UPDATED: I spoke with Plantation police spokesman Robert Rettig and he told me that the presumption that Morrissey had been shot was based on the fact that Morrissey suffered from gunshot-like puncture wounds, witnesses said they heard gunshots, and Morrissey's wife, Linda, informed investigators that the assailant was armed with a handgun. Rettig said that the assailant removed Joseph Morrissey from the room where he had the couple and murdered him in another area of the house (possibly the home's patio where Morrissey's body was found).
I'm going to be updating this post as we go along.
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