BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) – An international manhunt, with direct ties to Tampa Bay, has officially come to an end.
Two U.S. Army soldiers are now behind bars, accused of murdering a Brooksville couple, then hiding out for nearly two years.
The soldiers went “rogue,” says the FBI.
The two men, both in their twenties, started out serving their country. Now, they’re considered murder suspects who could serve time.
Investigators say both men were deeply disturbed and extremely dangerous, often detailing their displeasure with the world. According to the FBI, the now-suspects wanted to hurt others. Documents show the men were part of a radical military group based in Ukraine.
The FBI describes the men as evil souls who sought destruction.
The two were arrested on Wednesday. Federal agents took into custody 22-year-old Alex Zwieffelhofer and 29-year-old Craig Lane. One was arrested in Wisconsin, the other in Ukraine.
Federal agents are now working to extradite them back to Florida where they’re accused of murder. The former soldiers had been on the run for nearly two years after investigators say the two killed a Hernando County couple.
Whey the military men were discharged from the Army, sources say the two “went off the deep end,” seemingly delighted with discourse as their new comfort zone. In fact, detectives maintain that the duo had one very specific mission in mind.
They wanted to be mercenaries in Venezuela. But, that costs money. And, they didn’t have it.
According to documents, the men made up their minds and came up with a plan – one that involved murder, theft and a quick getaway. FBI paperwork provided details of the plan they put into place.
It involved an innocent Brooksville couple.
The husband and wife would be, lured to Lee County for what they thought was a legitimate business transaction. The couple, both gun enthusiasts, discovered an online post regarding the legal sale of weapons.
Danny and Deanna Lorenzo began communicating with the author of the online post, eventually agreeing to sell 15 guns in Lee County. The couple started planning their trip down South where they would make the sale.
Danny and Deanna had no way of knowing that their “business” transaction was, ultimately, a trap orchestrated by people who wanted to kill them, says the FBI.
The husband and wife would be ambushed on arrival in Lee County. They would never make it back to Brooksville.
The Lee County sheriff describes the crime scene as “one of the worst he’s ever witnessed” during his lengthy law enforcement career. In fact, as other law enforcement members and first responders arrived that day in April 2018, they were also stunned.
They still remember the grisly, heartbreaking crime scene.
A husband and wife who died in the cruelest of ways.
The couple’s neighbor in Hernando County says he was shocked when heard what happened.
“I couldn’t’ figure it out, he didn’t bother nobody, and she didn’t bother nobody. So, it was pretty hard to see something like that happen,” said Jeff Snedecker. “You don’t really know who to trust, watch your back all the time.”
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