By The Associated Press
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A neighbor said the Tyler Hadley she knew was the one who played basketball in the driveway with his dad — not the one accused of bludgeoning his parents to death with a hammer and then throwing a party while their bodies lay hidden in the master bedroom.
Police said dozens of people attended the party advertised on Facebook, apparently unaware of the bloody scene locked away in the house.
Hadley, 17, was expected to make his first court appearance Tuesday in Port St. Lucie. He is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Blake and Mary-Jo Hadley, who police believe were struck on their heads and torsos on Saturday, sometime after their son posted on Facebook to tell friends about the party.
Investigators believe the Hadleys were attacked outside their master bedroom and the bodies were moved into the bedroom and the door locked.
The teen was being held without bond at a juvenile detention center in Fort Pierce, and it wasn’t clear if he had an attorney.
Neighbors and some of Hadley’s high school classmates were shocked.
“He just seemed normal, I didn’t think anything was wrong with him,” Hadley’s friend Johnna Izzo told Miami television station WSVN.
Neighbor Raeann Wallace said she had known the family since before Tyler Hadley was born.
“This is not the Tyler I remember. What happened? … He and his dad would be shooting hoops (in the driveway).”
On Saturday night, as many as 60 people attended the party in the community about 50 miles north of West Palm Beach, according to Port St. Lucie Police spokesman Tom Nichols. They were loud enough to prompt a noise complaint and a visit by police officers. When they arrived at 1:30 a.m. Sunday to warn about the noise, the party was already breaking up, Nichols said.
Then, police said, they received a tip that a slaying may have taken place. They returned to the home at 4:20 a.m., finding the bodies covered with towels, files, books and other household items, and the hammer between them.
The mother, 47, was an elementary school teacher. The father, 54, worked for Florida Power and Light. The Hadleys also had a 23-year-old son who lives out of state.
Autopsies were under way, but police said they believed they died of blunt-force trauma.
Hadley had attended St. Lucie West Centennial High School, according to police, but had not graduated. They said they did not know what the motive was.