Deputies: Husband named suspect in ‘brutal murder’ of Marion County man

MARION COUNTY, Fla. — Marion County deputies named the husband of a man they said died following a “violent attack” as a suspect in his death.

Deputies said Timothy Smith, 59, was found dead inside a Citrus Park home on March 25 after he didn’t show up for work. The sheriff described the case as a “brutal murder.” On Tuesday, deputies announced that his husband, Herbert Swilley, is considered a suspect in Timothy’s murder. Deputies said Jordan Swilley, Herbert’s daughter, is considered a person of interest.


“Detectives spoke with Mr. Swilley at the earliest stages of the investigation and they have been trying to speak with him again, but his attorney has indicated that he will only cooperate if he is provided with immunity from prosecution for Timothy’s murder,” deputies said in a statement.

Investigators said Jordan also spoke with detectives early on but has failed to cooperate since then.

Read: Deputies are trying to find out who’s responsible for this Central Florida man’s ‘violent murder’

Because neither party will speak with detectives, the sheriff’s office is asking anyone in the community who could have information related to the case to come forward.

“This could include information regarding Timothy’s activities in the days and weeks leading up to his death, or information about Timothy and Herbert’s relationship. If you know anything that might help investigators - even if it seems unimportant - please call us and let us know. It may be the piece of the puzzle we need,” deputies said.

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If you have any information, you are asked to call Detective Daniel Pinder at 352-368-3508 or the Marion County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number at 352-732-9111. To remain anonymous, you can call Crime Stoppers of Marion County at 352-368-STOP (7867) and reference 23-21 in your tip.

In addition to the $3,000 reward offered by Crime Stoppers of Marion County, an enhanced reward of up to $6,500 is available through the Florida Association of Crime Stoppers, in partnership with the Florida Office of the Attorney General. The additional reward is available through June 30, 2024. To get the reward, the anonymous tip must come through the Crime Stoppers program.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.

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