Chief Brian Reuther won't go into details about the murder investigation other to say investigators are still searching for a motive as to why 17 year-old Tyler Hadley allegedly killed his parents then threw a party while his parents' bodies were in a locked bedroom.
"I had to kind of shake my head in disbelief... a double homicide and the son is the suspect in the killings," the chief said.
Chief Reuther said he reacted to news of the murders on Grandeur Avenue like a father first and a cop second.
"I have two children both in their mid 20s and it makes you think what could drive a child to do something like that."
The Hadleys had never been on the police radar before. There were no domestic calls to the residence. But Chief Reuther knew this was going to be a big story. "Because of the party afterward. I think that's what shocked a lot of people."
The chief found himself in demand last week on the cable talk show circuit. Hosts were asking him the same question Mary Jo Hadley asked her son as he allegedly began hitting her with a hammer, "why?" That question still has no answer.
The chief was also quick to point out Port St. Lucie's reputation as a safe city. A reputation they proudly hang over their front door. "We have the lowest crime rate for cities over 100-thousand in population in state of Florida. We've been a safe city for many years."
Chief Reuther said this crime could have happened in any community. The arrest affidavit showed Tyler Hadley had told others he wanted to kill his parents before. The chief said people need to be alert if they hear things like that.
"Has he said this in the past? Has he talked about specific plans? Is the person withdrawn? Does the person have substance abuse issues?"
This is the first big case that Reuther is taking on as chief. Last week, prosecutors said they were pleased with the way the department had been handling the case so far.
Tyler Hadley faces two counts of second degree murder but prosecutors plan to seek first degree murder charges when they present the case to a grand jury next month.
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