COCOA, Fla. - The hunt is on for the man who murdered an elderly Brevard County woman. Investigators fear he chose his victim at random.
Police said Jones was stabbed inside her Fiske Boulevard home. A neighbor was seriously injured when, police believe, he surprised her attacker. That neighbor had to be airlifted to the hospital.
"We need this individual to know there is no place he can hide," said Barbara Matthews of the Cocoa Police Department.
WFTV's Melonie Holt learned that Royal has a history of attacking women.
In 1993, Royal was arrested for breaking into the home of a 63-year-old Cocoa woman. She was held up at knife point and sexually assaulted.
Royal, who was just 14 at the time, was convicted and forced to register as a sex offender.
Neighbors, including Betty Robinson, were just relieved that police named a suspect in Jones' slaying.
"That's a shock to the system. It's scary. I don't know what's going to happen next," said Robinson.
Police hope to track down Jones' missing car, a dark green Ford Fusion. It has a Florida
Investigators said that in addition to taking the victim's car, they believe Royal attempted to use the victim's debit card.
Holt learned that Royal has family living in both the Gainesville area and in North Carolina.
"She truly is an innocent victim and we need to bring him to justice," said Matthews.