Date: April 2, 2001 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact: Michal Shanley, 863 534-6631 or 819-0397 pager
Suspect In Homicides Commits Suicide In New Jersey

Polk County Sheriff's Office Homicide Detectives responded to a reported double homicide at a residence located at 141 Conch Drive in the Poinciana area shortly before 10:30 p.m. last night (Sunday, April 1, 2001). 

Upon arrival, detectives discovered the bodies of Wesley (DOB 3/9/34) and Beverly (DOB 6/25/38) Williams. Both victims had been shot three times each with a large caliber weapon (possibly a 44 magnum pending ballistics testing). 

The victims had been found lying face down in a family/living area in the back of the house by their daughter, who went to a nearby house where the neighbor called 911. The victims' 1995 blue Cadillac also had been stolen during the incident. There were signs of forced entry to a back door and a 
back window. It has not been determined if the Williams were already at home when the suspect entered the home, or rather they arrived home to discover the suspect already in their house. 

The investigation revealed that the suspect had left a red 1995 Geo Metro at the scene of the double homicide (in the back yard). Detectives traced the vehicle, and developed information that led to the suspect, Walter Oswald, DOB 7/12/73, of 224 Locke Road in Davenport. Detectives established that the owner of the Geo Metro was Oswald's girlfriend, and that he might be headed out of state. A nation-wide BOLO was issued for the stolen vehicle, as well as suspect information/description.

The ongoing investigation linked Oswald not only to the Poinciana double homicide, but also to a previous homicide on Thursday, Mar. 29, 2001, of Haines City resident Daniel Fox, DOB 6/25/69, of 42 Pinewood Drive. Fox had been shot multiple times inside his residence. Investigation revealed that 
the suspect was an acquaintance of Fox. Detectives believe that during the incident, Oswald shot Fox six times with Fox's own firearm - a 44 magnum revolver. He then fled with the gun and a plastic jug of coins.  Detectives determined that Fox probably let Oswald inside his home, as there were no 
signs of forced entry. 

The investigation revealed that Oswald's girlfriend (name currently being withheld as confidential, ongoing investigative information) told detectives that she and Oswald had argued on Wednesday, Mar. 28, 2001, and that he had left in her vehicle. He returned on Friday, Mar. 30, 2001. He was unaccounted for on Thursday, the day of the Fox homicide. On Saturday morning, she noted 
that he apparently had packed his belongings, and she told detectives that she saw a box of ammunition and a plastic jug of coins in his bags. When she confronted him about the items, he became upset and allegedly told her he had to "return the gun to make things right." He then left in her vehicle without her permission at around 8:30 am. The suspect called his girlfriend on Sunday, April 1, 2001, around 7 p.m. and told her he was in New Jersey, and that he was going to a cemetery and was going to shoot himself. He allegedly told her he was "sorry for all the problems he caused, and that he wrecked several people's lives." He apparently told her that she would get her car back and that she would hear about what he had done soon enough. He did not give her any other information at that time.

As Sheriff's Office detectives were preparing to obtain warrants charging Oswald with all three homicides, they were notified by New Jersey law enforcement that the suspect had been spotted in the Williams' stolen vehicle in the area of Camden City, New Jersey, at around 7:15 a.m.  New Jersey law enforcement pursued the vehicle. The pursuit ended when the suspect crashed into another vehicle in the area of Depford Township, New Jersey. As officers approached the wrecked vehicles, they heard a gunshot. Investigation determined that Oswald had committed suicide by shooting 
himself with a 44 magnum revolver. 

Oswald's criminal history includes the following:
-1991 charges in New Jersey for Marijuana Possession and Resisting Arrest
-1992 charge in New Jersey for Cocaine Possession
-1994 chares in New Jersey for Marijuana Possession and Possession of Drug 
-1999 Pennsylvania Drug charges (do not have details)
-March 2001 Domestic Violence Battery charge in Polk County (mug shot from 
that arrest is on website)

The investigation is ongoing, and the case will be completed and closed out.

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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