Florida police find 3rd student dead, begin identifying pattern in murders: Part 2

Christa Hoyt was found stabbed to death in Gainesville a day after Christina Powell and Sonja Larson. Two of the three women had been posed by the suspect.
7:09 | 04/13/21

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Florida police find 3rd student dead, begin identifying pattern in murders: Part 2
Gainesville police discovered the bodies of two 18 to 20-year-old women who sources say are university of Florida students. Sonja Larson and Christina Powell were stabbed to death and mutilated. Thousands of young people were coming to Gainesville at this very moment. And in fact, the next day was the first day of the fall Over 40,000 students will start class at the university of Florida tomorrow. So they knew it would set off alarms. You have a great influx of young people, and they have to be very careful. The forensic people that processed the scene were able to see impressions in the door jam area appeared to be that of a screwdriver, a typical screwdriver, which would have been used to force entry. A very unusual detail of a killing was Christie Powell was found on the floor was a towel with what looked like a detergent on the body. It appeared that the perpetrator had used this dish soap in an attempt to destroy evidence. He had taped her hands together, it seems, but had removed the tape and taken it with him. Because of the removal of the tape, we weren't finding no latent prints. We think that was in an effort to keep investigators from discovering DNA, blood types, fingerprints. It kind of indicates that they have some knowledge, background of what law enforcement is going to be looking for when they go into a crime scene. The chief told me he wasn't going to be satisfied with just two people. It was a couple of hours later that they found a third victim, a young woman named Christa Hoyt. I am Dianna londrie Hoyt. I am stepmother to Christa Hoyt. I very much debated about coming in here and talking to you. And I got to thinking about it again, and I realized this is Christa's story. Our next scholarship recipient is Christa Hoyt. Christa really wanted to be a police officer. That's all she had wanted for four years in high school. She was going to school at Santa fe community college. And she was working part-time at the sheriff's office working midnight shift as a records clerk. And no matter what, she was a happy person. Her face just glowed. The television was on, and it said that two students had been murdered in Gainesville. Chrysta was supposed to go into work, and she was very punctual, but she didn't show up. That was so out of character she didn't miss work. They called Christa's home several times. They dispatched deputy Keith O'Hara and deputy Gail barber to Christa's apartment. He beat me there by just a little bit. He had gotten out of his car, and walked around to the back of the apartment. And there was a sliding glass door on the rear of her apartment. And so he got down on his knees and looked up with his flashlight in the bedroom. And he looked at me, and he said, don't look. You don't want to see this. Christa Hoyt was found dead. Mutilated. Beheaded. And the killer had left her head on a shelf so that anybody walking through the door, that's what they would see. And her body also was posed. She was sitting her feet on the floor. Her torso slumped forward. I did not want to see that young lady that meant so much to me -- I did not want that to be what I carried in my mind of her for the rest of my life. The exact cause of death is multiple stab wounds to her body. We're not saying how many, what manner, what type of instrument. We had a very hard time trying to process the whole fact of what had happened to Christa. My husband would just sit and say, just tell me she died right away. Tell me she did not suffer. These police officers knew Christa. Now they had to face the father. They told Gary, she died right away with the first stab, which was the truth. But there were many hours before that before she was killed. In fact, investigators could tell Christa Hoyt had been sexually battered in those hours before she was finally stabbed to death. The question now facing police is, are these murders related? At this point, we simply don't know. We were starting to see the similarities between the two. He was very precise in his methodology. On both scene one and scene two, a large knife had been used. The entry to the apartment, there was several pry marks around the door. Again, we saw the hands had been taped, but the tape had that the police were gonna be there. And he had to take the evidence with him. If both crime scenes are linked, that's very bad news for Gainesville. They had a serial killer on the loose in their community. And they had nothing at that point, nothing that could help them figure out who he was or how to stop him. Frankly, I was scared to go home, and then you're too scared to go to sleep. And then you're so tired, you wnt to go to sleep, and then it just starts over the next day. It's terrifying. If anything else happens in the next 24 hours, I don't care about classes. I don't care about anything. I'm leaving. So while the police are really 99% concerned about what's going on with these murder scenes, there's a bank robbery. And they have no idea that this thing was going to be the key to the Gainesville murderer

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"7:09","description":"Christa Hoyt was found stabbed to death in Gainesville a day after Christina Powell and Sonja Larson. Two of the three women had been posed by the suspect.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/2020","id":"76985811","title":"Florida police find 3rd student dead, begin identifying pattern in murders: Part 2","url":"/2020/video/florida-police-find-3rd-student-dead-begin-identifying-76985811"}