VERO BEACH, Fla. - Detectives with the Indian River County Sheriff's Office said a man died early Friday morning after drinking a deadly prescription drug-laden milkshake concocted by his roommate.
The death occurred in the 400 block of 12th Street SW in Vero Beach.
Deputies responded to the residence early Friday morning to check the welfare of 51-year-old Michael Gray. Gray's wife was out of town and had not heard from him in several days.
Investigators said she called the sheriff's office and asked that his welfare be checked because she had concerns about the roommate whom the couple allowed to share their home.
At about 12:30 a.m., deputies made contact with the Gray's roommate, Timothy E. Gochenour, 41, at the shared home.
"Mr. Gaukenaur initially said that Mr. Gray was at a bar, which the deputies did an excellent job by discerning that there was something a little more to it," Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar said.
Deputies felt Gaukenaur's nervousness was suspicious and checked the inside of the home.
They found that Gray was deceased and his body was in a bed, covered with blankets.
Detectives were called and interviewed Gochenour. He told investigators that he had been in an argument with Gray for several days over rent and privacy issues.
He indicated on Thursday night that he put a large quantity of prescription medications in a milkshake and gave it to Gray with the intention of killing him.
When Gray passed out, Gochenour told deputies that he put him in a bed and covered him with blankets. The prescription medications were believed to be a combination of those belonging to both Gray and Gochenour.
The victim's wife has been notified of her husband's death.
Investigators said Gochenour was in possession of a firearm when initial contact was made with him. He has been arrested for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and is being booked into the Indian River County Jail.
Charges for the homicide are expected as investigators continue to uncover evidence and consult with prosecutors.
"It's sad and I don't like it because it's awfully close to home you know? And it's a serviceman. He fought for our country," neighbor Dianne Mitrano said.
According to the Indian River County Sheriff's Office, Gochenour is a registered sex offender and had reported the Gray's address as his residence.
In 1997, he was arrested by the Indian River County Sheriff's Office for one count each of attempted sexual battery of a victim 12 years of age or older, burglary of an occupied dwelling with an assault/battery, and unlawful sexual contact with a minor.
He was convicted on the unlawful sexual contact with a minor count and sentenced to three years in prison and six years on probation. The Florida Department of Corrections website notes several periods of incarceration following that arrest and conviction.
NewsChannel 5's Meghan McRoberts contributed to this report.