Florida man who raised funds to honor murdered spouse is now prime suspect

A Florida man who had raised thousands of dollars online to honor his murdered husband has now become the prime suspect in his slaying. Herbert Swilley, the spouse of the victim, Timothy Smith, had been sharing heartfelt tributes to his late husband until recently. However, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office has now named Swilley as a suspect in the murder. Swilley’s daughter, Jordan Swilley, has also been identified as a person of interest in the case. The authorities are urging the community to come forward with any information that could help solve the crime.

Timothy Smith, a 59-year-old executive director at a senior living center, was found dead at his home on March 25 during a wellness check. The sheriff’s office reported that Smith appeared to have suffered a violent attack prior to his death. From the beginning, Sheriff Billy Woods stated that the evidence pointed to the perpetrator being someone known to the victim.

Herbert Swilley, a handyman, had publicly mourned his husband’s death on social media, expressing his grief and longing for him. Just hours before the sheriff’s office named him as the prime suspect, Swilley shared an anniversary post, expressing his wish for Smith to be present with him and their daughter, Jordan, on their eighth wedding anniversary.

The sheriff’s office revealed that detectives had initially spoken with Swilley and Jordan during the early stages of the investigation. However, both individuals have since refused to cooperate further. Swilley’s attorney has indicated that he will only cooperate if granted immunity from prosecution for Timothy’s murder. The authorities have increased the reward for information leading to the resolution of the case to $14,500.

In their plea to the community, the sheriff’s office emphasized the importance of any information regarding Timothy’s activities leading up to his death and details about his relationship with Herbert. The investigation has uncovered evidence that the authorities believe could be crucial to solving the case.

Swilley had previously raised over $2,200 through a GoFundMe campaign to cover expenses for a “celebration of life” in honor of Smith before being identified as a suspect. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office is urging anyone with information about the crime or the couple’s relationship to come forward.